Kickoff of revamped "American Idol" sheds 4 million total viewers compared to last season's opener
(Update, Thursday 9:19 a.m.: In time zone-adjusted numbers, "American Idol" ticked up in total viewers for 17.9 million.)
The addition of new judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban failed to boost Fox's "American Idol" on Wednesday night, as the singing competition premiered its new season with substantial declines from last January's season premiere, according to preliminary numbers.
Wednesday night's premiere of "Idol" dropped 19 percent from last year's premiere, posting a 6.0 rating/16 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. The premiere also shed 4 million total viewers compared to last season's opener, drawing 17.9 million.
Those numbers represent a pattern of decline for the singing competition. Last year's season premiere was down 24 percent in the demo from the previous season's premiere, and down 21 percent in total viewers.
The good news for Fox? The "Idol" premiere — which comprised the network's entire primetime slate — still pushed the network to an overall win for the night in ratings and total viewers. It beat ABC, CBS and NBC combined by 11 percent in the demo.
ABC drew second place in ratings with a 2.5/7 and third in total viewers with 7.5 million. The network saw minor declines throughout the night, with the exception of the freshman drama "Nashville" at 10 p.m., which inched up 5 percent for its best demo performance since its premiere. "The Middle" at 8 posted a 2.3/7 with 8.2 million total viewers, while "Neighbors" at 8:30 had a 1.9/5 with 6.2 million total viewers. "Modern Family" at 9 had a 4.3/11 with 11 million total viewers, while "Suburgatory" at 9:30 had a 2.4/6 with 6.4 million total viewers. "Nashville" at 10 posted a 2.2/6 and took 6.5 million total viewers.
CBS grabbed third in ratings and second in total viewers with a 2.1/6 and 10.7 million. Following an "NCIS" repeat at 8, "Criminal Minds" the next hour slipped 10 percent for a 2.3/6 and had 12.5 million total viewers. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" at 10 inched up 5 percent from its last original airing five weeks ago with a 2.3/6 and took 11 million total viewers.
Univision came in fourth in ratings and total viewers with a 1.6/4 and 3.9 million.
At the CW — which took fifth place in ratings with a 1.0/3 and sixth in total viewers with 2.6 million — "Arrow" at 8 p.m. returned after a month off, growing slightly in the demo with a 1.1/3 and holding steady in total viewers with 3.1 million. "Supernatural" the following hour posted a 0.9/2 and had 2.1 million total viewers.
NBC, which ran repeats throughout the night, took sixth place in ratings and fifth in total viewers with a 0.8/2 and 2.9 million.