Fox Hits It Big With ‘Idol’ Premiere

Jan 18, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The fifth season premiere of Fox’s music reality competition broke records for itself and the network Tuesday, garnering its best premiere performance in major adult demos and total viewers and delivering Fox’s highest-rated night ever among viewers, for entertainment programming.

The two-hour premiere of “Idol” scored a 15.3 preliminary national rating in the adults 18 to 49 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. The numbers also reflected live-plus-same-day ratings that incorporate digital video recorder viewing through 3 a.m. the next morning.

Besides being up 9 percent in the demo from last year’s Jan. 18 premiere, “Idol” was up 6 percent in total viewers from last year, growing to 35.5 million viewers from 33.6 million.

“Idol” delivered its second-highest telecast ever in adults 18 to 49, second only to its season two finale in May 2003.

To date, the “Idol” premiere is the highest-rated prime-time program of the 2005-06 season in adults 18 to 49, adults 18 to 34 and teens and the highest-rated prime-time entertainment telecast on any network in adults 18 to 49 and adults 18 to 34 since the “Friends” finale on NBC in May 2004.

Competitively, Fox scored better in adults 18 to 49 Tuesday than all the other networks combined. Fox’s 15.2 rating in the demo eclipsed CBS (3.7), NBC (3.6), ABC (2.5), The WB (1.9), and UPN (0.4).