In Depth

'Idol' Debut: Ratings Fall, But Not Much

“American Idol's” season eight premiere marks the second year in the show’s history that debut ratings dropped year over year, down 16% among viewers 18-49 and down 10% in total viewers compared to season seven.

The two-hour debut scored a 11.6 rating/28 share among viewers 18-49, and drew 30.1 total million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research information.

Last year’s “Idol” premiere told a similar story, when for the first time in the show’s history ratings and total viewers were down for season opener. Season seven’s debut was down 11% in the demographic compared to season six, as well as down 9% in total viewers, according to final Nelsen numbers.

“Idol” debut numbers reflect a similar story across the broadcast networks in a TV season where ratings are down across the board for even some of the biggest shows.