Idle Eyeballs Don’t Watch ‘Idol’: Finale’s Ratings Hit Low Note

May 27, 2010  •  Post A Comment

According to the New York Times’ Arts Beat blog, "The night’s average of 24.2 million viewers [for Wednesday’s ‘American Idol’ finale] is down about 18 percent from last year’s finale, when Kris Allen won the contest. The audience for the “Idol” finale peaked in 2006 when about 36 million people tuned in. (The finale for the first edition of “Idol,” which was shown in the summer of 2002 when ratings are typically lower, averaged 22.8 million viewers.)"

Also, according to the article, "In the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, “Idol” delivered an 8.2 rating, according to the preliminary numbers, easily beating the other broadcast networks combined.For the season, Fox says that “Idol” is down nine percent among total viewers and 10 percent among 18- to 49-year-olds."

According to the following chart, from TVbytheNumbers, this was the lowest rated ‘Idol’ finale in the 18-49-year-old demo:

Here’s a historical look at Idol’s 18-49 rating and average viewers (millions) for the finales:

9/4/2002 American Idol 10.8 rating 23.02 million viewers 
5/21/2003 American Idol 16.8, 38.06
5/26/2004 American Idol 12.0, 28.84
5/25/2005 American Idol 12.5, 30.27
5/24/2006 American Idol 14.2, 36.38
5/23/2007 American Idol 11.5, 30.76
5/21/2008 American Idol 11.4, 31.688
5/20/2009 American Idol 10.0, 28.86
5/26/2010 American Idol 8.2, 24.2


  1. The finalists and their stories were not that compelling. You can see the ratings are always up and down based on the finalists and how well they have connected with the public. Season 2 – still the most compelling with Clay and Ruben. Season 3, a nose dive with Fantasia and DeGarmo. Season 5, Hicks may be the one with the weakest career, but an extremely compelling season with Daughtry getting cut the week before the final. Get some really talented kids with good stories and focus on the kids. Notice that the recent dive has taken place as the focus has shifted to the judges and Ryan.

  2. Digital Guy is 100% right. Clay and Ruben were on just about every magazine cover and people who hadn’t watched all season tuned in. Ditto with the buzz about Daughtry. This year I actually couldn’t watch and when I tried I didn’t care. Lame.

  3. Do you absolutely love star gossip? Can’t stand it? Do you really take long lunches from labor when you know about the trendy issue of People will hit the newstands? I waiting to be aware how much folks actually find high profile news interesting, and in what way many quite simply feel the infatuation from it idiotic.

  4. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.

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