"American Idol" may be suffering from viewer fatigue. The show is shedding viewers in a decline that’s accelerating into its finals, USA Today reports.
Viewership has dropped 8.8% for the season, but has slumped 12.8% for the finals weeks, compared with its ratings for the same period a year earlier. For the past two weeks, its Tuesday performance shows dropped under 20 million viewers, something that hasn’t been seen since its second season in 2003.
According to the article, Fox reality executive Mike Darnell explains the dip on anomalies such as "Idol Gives Back," an episode designed to raise money for charities. He also said a different set of Nielsen ratings show a smaller drop. But not everyone agrees, according to the article: "I think there’s a lot of fatigue going on," said Horizon Media’s Brad Adgate, who points to the absence of Paula Abdul and fewer compelling finalists as hurting ratings.