ABC’s “American Idol” premiere drew plenty of eyeballs Sunday, even as Fox — where “Idol” used to air — ran programming that was seen by many observers as a direct attempt to dampen enthusiasm for ABC’s reboot.
Nielsen reported a turnout of 10.34 million viewers for the two-hour “Idol,” along with a 2.3 average rating in the key demo of adults 18-49.
Fox countered with “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?,” which averaged a 1.2 rating in the demo and 4.4 million total viewers. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed notes that Fox’s demo number was “not any different from what it usually sees among adults 18-49 for its comedy lineup.”
THR adds that Fox “certainly tried to sabotage ABC’s plan to relaunch its former flagship. With less than two weeks’ notice, the network announced it would be pitting O.J. Simpson’s unaired 2006 ‘If I Did It’ interview against the premiere. The plan seemed to have fumbled.”
The AP notes that Nielsen said the turnout for the “Idol” premiere “represented ABC’s biggest Sunday night audience with regular series programming since 2012.”