American Idol 12: Predicting the Premiere Ratings (INFOGRAPHIC!)

The Hollywood Reporter analyzes the 2011-2012 ratings of the three competition reality shows, American Idol, The Voice and X Factor. Idol is still king, but can the 11 year old show stay on top? Via The Hollywood Reporter

Three years after its 2007 peak, American Idol’s first season with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler opened to 26.3 million viewers and a 9.8 rating with adults 18-49, respective 13 and 15 percent drops from the year before. And last year’s American Idol opener suffered more significant drops — 17 percent in viewers and 25 percent in the demo — for an opener of 21.9 million and a 7.4 rating.

The Voice seems to be the darling of the genre since premiering in 2011, but as the below graph illustrates, American Idol has thus far kept its head well above the ratings watermark set by its closest competition. The recent opening month of The Voice averaged more than 6.5 million viewers and nearly two demo ratings points shy of American Idol’s average last January.

Wednesday’s American Idol premiere would have to shed 44 percent of last premiere’s showing just to tie September’s Voice opener — but is that even out of the question at this point?

Check out the Handy Dandy info graphic below. Click to enlarge.

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mj santilli

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
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  • Lynn DiResto

    Still the best singing competition. I have been waiting for this day for months. Hopefully they will have decent hopefuls this year. I would like them to be honest with the contestants. Simon was the best. He told it as he saw it and thats how it should be. That’s why they were the best years. We need a Simon on the judging panel. 

  • Stavros

    Idol’s problem is that there probably won’t be another big ratings boost. When word of mouth spreads about a show’s rising popularity and how many people see it (Big Bang Theory, Voice), more people join the bandwagon. Idol has the strongest and one of the longest lasting fan bases, but not a lot of people are going to be jumping on that bandwagon after 12 years.

    Hope it crushes the Voice and X Factor :)

  • blackberryharvest

    You know, I did some calculations and even if there is another 25% drop from last year’s premiere(7.4), there would still be a 5.5 rating in the demo which is GREAT for TV these days. Not even The Voice got into the 5s last season. The Big Bang Theory might beat it this year, but idol is a 12 season show, nothing stays on top forever :)

  • Valentin432

    Tomorrow will be a very interesting day.

    I’m expecting the ratings to be down compared to last year due to the ongoing competition between singing shows and the fact that the idol brand has declined over the past several years.

    If it’s a small drop, this would be a sign that the idol brand is still strong and that changing the panel has spiked the interest of people.
    If it’s down by a lot, then it will probably be the year Idol has lost its ratings crown to another show and maybee that it will be going down towards a cancellation in two or three years.

  • blackberryharvest

    Technically, it lost the crown last year to Sunday Night Football.

  • SullyD

    If it’s another 30% drop, I think the viewers might be in the 16M range (which is good). So if I were going to take a pool, I’d bet in something between 16M to 18M. Anything higher than that is a success, anything lower than that is a huge drop.

  • fantoo1

    I will guess 5.8 and 18 million-which is still good.

  • Hazehel

    From what I can see (I’m judging by the page view on wiki pages), there seems to be more interest in the show before the season starts compared to the last two seasons, so perhaps if the rating drops, it wouldn’t drop by much.  Pre-season interest doesn’t mean much though, Season 9 had good pre-season interest, and we know what happened to Season 9.

  • Kariann Hart

    Having a positive outlook about American Idol, I say the ratings may be slightly higher than last year.  I am very excited about this season!