ABC doesn't seem to have its answer to "American Idol": The new singing show "Duets," which pairs contestants with Kelly Clarkson and other pop stars, premiered to soft numbers Thursday as the return of "So You Think You Can Dance" led Fox to a ratings win.
The weak debut for "Duets" — paired with the lowest-ever ratings for an "Idol" finale the day before — suggested waning viewer interest in singing shows. Or perhaps the interest has just been diluted, with "The Voice," "X Factor" and now "Duets" featuring tweaked versions of the familiar "Idol" formula.
"Duets" had a 1.7 rating/5 share in the 18-49 demo most important to advertisers, and 6.7 million total viewers, according to preliminary numbers.
Fox won the night with "Dance" filling its entire 8 to 10 p.m. primetime schedule. It was the top-rated network with a 2.4/8 and 6.2 million total viewers. It was only the third-most watched network in total viewers, however.
CBS, which aired only reruns, tied ABC for second in the overall ratings, averaging a 1.6/5. CBS was first in total viewers, averaging 7.6 million. A "Big Bang Theory" rerun was the second-highest rated show of the night with a 2.3/8, and the most-watched with 8.3 million total viewers.
ABC was second in total viewers with 6.5 million. After "Duets" from 8-10, it aired the season premiere of "Rookie Blue," which had a 1.4/4 and 6 million total viewers. "Duets" tied for the third-highest-rated show of the night with a "Rules of Engagement" rerun.
Univision was fourth in ratings and total viewers, averaging a 1.2/4 and 3.2 million. NBC was fifth in both with a .9/3 and 2.9 million. It aired only reruns, except for the series finale of the now-cancelled "Awake," which also had a .9/3 and 2.9 million.