American Idol is down 15% vs last Wednesday’s premiere. Last season’s comparable episode earned 5.4 in the demo, with 16 million viewers. It dropped 10% from the 2013 premiere.

VIA TV By The Numbers

On FOX American Idol earned a 4.0 down 15 percent from a 4.7 for last week’s premiere, but up 3 percent from a 3.9 for last Thursday’s episode.

8:00

FOX American Idol (8-10PM) 4.0/11 13.24
ABC The Middle 2.2/7 8.14
NBC Revolution 1.5/4 5.30
CBS The Crazy Ones – R 0.8/2 4.11
CW Arrow 0.8/2 2.46

8:30

ABC Suburgatory 1.8/5 6.09
CBS Mom – R 0.9/2 4.15

9:00

ABC Modern Family 3.5/9 9.74
CBS Criminal Minds 2.2/6 10.39
NBC Law & Order: SVU 1.8/5 6.64
CW The Tomorrow People 0.5/1 1.40

9:30

ABC Super Fun Night 1.7/4 5.15

10:00

CBS CSI 1.6/5 9.49
NBC Chicago PD 1.6/5 6.27
ABC Nashville 1.4/4 4.97

Half Hour Breakdown via Marc Berman

8:00 p.m.

ABC – The Middle
Viewers: 8.14 million (#2), A18-49: 2.2/ 7 (#2)

CBS – The Crazy Ones (R)
Viewers: 4.11 million (#4), A18-49: 0.8/ 2 (#4t)

NBC – Revolution
Viewers: 5.63 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#3)

Fox – American Idol
Viewers: 12.08 million (#1), A18-49: 3.5/10 (#1)

CW – Arrow
Viewers: 2.52 million (#5), A18-49: 0.8/ 2 (#4t)

———-

8:30 p.m.

ABC – Suburgatory
Viewers: 6.09 million (#2), A18-49: 1.8/ 5 (#2)

CBS – Mom (R)
Viewers: 4.15 million (#4), A18-49: 0.9/ 2 (#4)

NBC – Revolution
Viewers: 4.96 million (#3), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#3)

Fox – American Idol
Viewers: 14.10 million (#1), A18-49: 4.3/12 (#1)

CW – Arrow
Viewers: 2.41 million (#5), A18-49: 0.8/ 2 (#5)

———-

9:00 p.m.

ABC – Modern Family
Viewers: 9.74 million (#3), A18-49: 3.5/ 9 (#2)

CBS – Criminal Minds
Viewers: 10.08 million (#2), A18-49: 2.2/ 6 (#3)

NBC – Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 6.26 million (#4), A18-49: 1.8/ 5 (#4)

Fox – American Idol
Viewers: 13.27 million (#1), A18-49: 4.0/10 (#1)

CW – The Tomorrow People
Viewers: 1.47 million (#5), A18-49: 0.5/ 1 (#5)

———-

9:30 p.m.

ABC – Super Fun Night
Viewers: 5.15 million (#4), A18-49: 1.7/ 4 (#4)

CBS – Criminal Minds
Viewers: 10.71 million (#2), A18-49: 2.2/ 6 (#2)

NBC – Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 7.01 million (#3), A18-49: 1.9/ 5 (#3)

Fox – American Idol
Viewers: 13.48 million (#1), A18-49: 4.1/11 (#1)

CW – The Tomorrow People
Viewers: 1.37 million (#5), A18-49: 0.5/ 1 (#5)

———-

10:00 p.m.

ABC – Nashville
Viewers: 5.13 million (#3), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#3)

CBS – CSI
Viewers: 9.67 million (#1), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#1)

NBC – Chicago PD
Viewers: 6.32 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#2)

———-

10:30 p.m.

ABC – Nashville
Viewers: 4.82 million (#3), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#3)

CBS – CSI
Viewers: 9.30 million (#1), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1t)

NBC – Chicago PD
Viewers: 6.22 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#1t)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 
  • Kesia Monteith

    Too bad it dipped this week, because last night was MUCH better in terms of talent (and funnier, to me anyway) than all last week, where I was bored and underwhelmed by some of the singing.

  • LeahKittyS

    “Underwhelmed?” I’ll second that. In the first city they went to there were only two people who impressed me. Last night there were six.

  • Larc

    Idol’s last season evidently poisoned the stream some. Looks as if it will be an uphill battle to overcome the effects. With any luck, that will start happening by finals at latest. Otherwise, S12 may turn out to have damaged the show even more than S9.

  • Tinawina

    I think it always dips. That drop doesn’t look bad actually IMO. I think they did pretty good.

  • Tinawina

    Naw, the normal pattern is to open big and each subsequent audition episode dips a little from there. In a great year maybe it holds steady but that’s unusual. As long as the dips aren’t huge it’s business as usual. When it gets to Hollywood, if it holds steady or even increases a little for that first Hollywood ep then we’re cooking with gas.

    These ratings are not bad as it is but considering this will likely get adjusted up, I think AI did pretty well last night.

    Now the first Thursday it has to compete with a new BBT? Massacre. LOL

  • bridgette12

    Drip, drip, drip! Each show, Idol loses more viewers. Eventually this show will have to stabilize and stop losing viewers each week.

  • ptebwwong

    I said the same thing last week. I’m a big Idol fan, but at some point the viewers need to stabilize. The majority of the “old” reality shows like Survivor have done that. Idol is the only “old” talent show, but their viewership must stabilize like the other shows or in the following seasons the viewership will start out even worse than now.

  • elliegrll

    Viewership levels will always fluctuate. Aside from the third episode of season 10, which I believe showed an increase from the previous week, this drop follows the usual pattern.

  • bridgette12

    Idol big hope lies with Hollywood week. They need some contestants to have some moments that get the viewers hooked and the media talking about something else other than the judges.

  • BonnieDee

    I was watching the final part of a miniseries (Klondike on Discovery Channel), so they may have lost some viewers to that from 9 – 10.

  • bridgette12

    Fluctuate means there the levels go up and down. But with Idol, it’s just going down. They can’t afford to lose a million or two each show, because eventually they won’t have a audience.

  • ptebwwong

    I think there’s been some talented contestants we’ve seen so far. The thing is I’m not sure if big moments will matter as much as “different & unique” contestants. Many of these contestants we’ve seen so far are the same type of contestants Idol has been getting. IMO the seasons where people started watching during the season was due to different types of contestants first. The big moments was a secondary reason.

    I actually don’t think the problem is the judges & the media & viewers concentrating on them & not the contestants. IMO last year’s season turned too many people off & the past few season’s of obvious winners.

  • bridgette12

    Idol has been in a quandary for years because of numerous things. I certainly think the judges have always been a big draw and also a detriment to this show. Judges do matter and who and how they act on this show affects the show and ratings. As for the contestants, Idol is not in any position to find anything different or unique, they have to go back to what’s familiar and comfortable for their viewership. The guitar playing white guy is out in full force this season and the predictable WGWG is going to win. Idol is not looking to reinvent the wheel, they just are trying to keep some air in the tires. No big goals this season, just want to keep the franchise from collapsing.

  • Tinawina

    It always “just goes down” at this phase. It’s NORMAL. Plus this was not a big drop.

    I’m not saying Idol is in tip top shape (in particular, it still remains to be seen how it will hold up against Big Bang Theory, The Olympics and the return of The Voice – I ain’t holding my breath there), but its performance last night is not anything alarming IMO.

  • elliegrll

    Season 12 hasn’t damaged the show anymore than time, the lack of diversity, Michael Orland’s 1970s era musical arrangements, and the producers failure to make the show look more relevant have.

    If you look at AI’s track record there really isn’t anything unusual about these drops. In season 11 the first episode started out with 21.93 and a 7.4 rating. The second episode dropped to a 5.7. The third regularly scheduled episode did a 6.5 and the fourth a 5.5. This has been the pattern for AI for years.

  • ptebwwong

    Yes, you can go back to what works which is WGWG’s. But there doesn’t have to be so many WGWG’s. Even in past seasons, there wasn’t this many & there were still many finalists who weren’t WGWG’s. There needs to be some variety of contestants. I’m worried that this year will be similar to S9 & many of the finalists will be similar.

  • bridgette12

    To get the right WGWG, you need a variety of WGWG and from what I hear, Idol seems to be making sure they have a large variety to choose from. I’m sure Idol will have some variety, probably a couple white female country singers, the token r&B singer, two or three small niche singers and WGWG’s. Even if Idol tried their hardest, I don’t think they will have another season 9.

  • elliegrll

    Maybe. But based on viewing patterns, and the 9pm ratings for this week and last week, Modern Family reached a season low last week, but the show went up 9% yesterday, so I would guess that AI hurt MF last week, but this week a lot of those viewers may have watched AI during the 8:30 half hour, but they switched over to ABC at 9.

  • bridgette12

    It’s not alarming because it’s expected. Idol don’t have anything that could prevent the ratings from falling. It they continue to fall, week after week, I don’t think anyone is going to be surprised. It’s just a continuation of last year’s freefall.

  • elliegrll

    Nope, it’s a continuation of the drops that we have always seen with AI. I mentioned season 11, but lets look at season 8, the first two episodes drew demo ratings of 11.7 and 11.8, the third and fourth episodes dropped to 9.0 and 9.8. Only two other episodes that season had a rating of 10.0 or higher, and one of those was the finale. The bulk of the episodes settled in around the 7.0-8.9 range.

  • perfectstorm

    To get the right WGWG, you need a variety of WGWG

    But they didn’t have that variety in the seasons Cook, Allen, McCreery, Phillips won. It was really Season 9 where they not only had Dewyze, James, but Bowersox.

  • bridgette12

    But for this season, they are more desperate than ever to try to get their audience back. The thing with WGWG’s is they are not all the same, some are better than others and it seems Idol is going to make sure they have plenty to choose from.

  • perfectstorm

    And there have been a lot of people auditioning with guitars who aren’t white and who aren’t male. Crystal Bowersox didn’t win, but of all the females in the last 6 years, she went the furthest without ever being in the bottom. And she played guitar.

  • Mateja Praznik

    All WGWG are equally average and quite frankly, the frauen don’t care about talent. So one WGWG would be totally enough.

  • bridgette12

    But WGWG is their crutch and is what their fanbase loves.

  • ptebwwong

    There are different levels of talent IMO for WGWG. For example, Paul McCartney would be considered a talented WGWG. He’s a legend. Obviously, there are many other WGWG’s that don’t have as much talent.

  • bridgette12

    Just look at the WGWG Idol has had, from whom it started with to the last WGWG winner, they weren’t all the same in talent, some better than others, but there was similarities between them all that is a draw to the fanbase.

  • bridgette12

    Paul is a legend who can actually play the guitar and not just a couple of notes to appear to be a WGWG and the proverbial musician singer/songwriter type..

  • bridgette12

    Why can’t it be both? It don’t have to be either one of the other.

  • perfectstorm

    Talent, etc – is all subjective. There are those who actually think One Direction is talented, even though they are nothing than a manufactured bubble gum group – who like all boy bands have very short careers. Can’t ever see Liam Payne as the next Justin Timberlake.

  • ptebwwong

    Yes, he’s a legend. But by the definition many people are using he would be categorized as a WGWG. I’m just saying there’s WGWG’s in music history that are talented & some are legends.

  • springboard2

    Yes but the percentage drop between show 1 and show 2 is very large compared to other seasons

  • bridgette12

    I never said they are equally average. Some are better than others. Some are better singers, some are better guitar singers, all of them think of themselves as songwriters, but few have exactly sold any of their songs for money or won any awards for them.

  • elliegrll

    Because putting the blame on last season implies that these drops are higher than what we normally see, while ignoring that has been happening with this show over the last six seasons.

  • perfectstorm

    Chris Daughtry has.

  • Amy Beth

    The ratings drops may be normal, but there are 2 sets of drops that are amplifying each other.

    First there is the season over season drop that’s been in place since AI hit its peak several years ago.

    Then there is the intra-season pattern of drops after the premiere.

    The new judges, tweaks,etc. may not be able to change the intra-season pattern. But I have to believe there was some hope they’d stop the season-to-season free fall. Otherwise, why bother?

  • ptebwwong

    I’m sorry, another poster said this & I responded to you accidentally. I edited my post.

  • bridgette12

    But the ratings for last season was the lowest ever and now this season is a continuation of that drop.

  • bridgette12

    Like I said, very few. Chris is a legit singer songwriter and his music that he wrote has been published and sold. He’s not some hack.

  • elliegrll

    Last September’s debut of Survivor was it’s lowest rated debut ever, so I don’t understand the comparison that you are trying to make with AI. The first Survivor episode in September was down 19% in comparison to the previous season.

  • bridgette12

    They bother because they can still make money off of this show.

  • elliegrll

    I don’t get your point? Before last season there have been other seasons that have had the lowest ever label, whether it’s the lowest ever debut episode or the lowest ever final two. Nothing has changed.

  • ptebwwong

    IMO like everything there can be good artists & bad artists. There are talented WGWG’s & there are bad one’s, too. You’ll find that in every genre & sound. The way many people define WGWG there are legends like McCartney or Lennon who would be considered WGWG’s.

  • Amy Beth

    I mean why bother paying JLo big bucks and hyping the panel? If the drops are inevitable, why not just make the show on the cheap?

  • elliegrll

    Actually, I think it is the in season drop that is the most important. People aren’t watching broadcast television as much as they used to, so there’s not a lot that can be done with the season to season drops. That’s why season 10 didn’t overtake season 11s ratings until we got to the live shows. i think the same will happen this season. Depending on the cast, this season won’t catch up to last season until the final rounds.

  • Amy Beth

    I thought Chris’ season was before instruments were allowed.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Which would indicate it is part of the nature of being an aging show, not necessarily because of anything that happened last season.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Eh, S10 was awash in WGWG. Paul McDonald started as the Designated WGWG, then when it was clear he had no staying power, the torch passed first to Casey Abrams and his bass (it looks almost like a guitar!), then to James Durbin. . . there were actually discussions after Durbin’s elimination of how a WGWG wasn’t going to win S10, as that was back when WGWG meant HAC/rock-ish rather than being all-genre!

    When presented with a plethora of WGWG, the self-proclaimed “core” fans sort through the options until the wheel stops with a WGWG who builds a coalition of other fan types, too. (I’m not saying coalition-building didn’t happen in other WGWG seasons, as I think it did, just that the process is more obvious when there are multiples.)

  • perfectstorm

    Just because someone sold music doesn’t mean it’s good – or is music everyone likes – or that person is more talented. Talent, etc is all subjective. There’s timing, luck, etc. Despite their success, I’m sure there are those who consider Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood hacks. Just as I’m sure there are those who love what Lee Dewyze and Candice Glover do.

  • bridgette12

    Because they are competing with the other shows in their genre. They think they need a big name on the judges panel and as they have said in practically every bit of promo this past summer, JLO alone with the other two, like one another and they won’t offend anyone. If you get a big name you have to pay them big bucks, even if these people are not worth the money and the returns don’t reflect all the money you spent on the judges panel.

  • bridgette12

    Or maybe it did have something to do with what happened last season. Since we can’t read the minds of everyone who has stopped watching Idol, no one can definitively say either way. We can only guess.

  • ptebwwong

    I’m going by average viewership of the season. Their viewers have fallen off. But before last season there were 8+ years where it stayed at the 12-13 million range. That’s consistency for an old show. Last year, had a high 10 million range. But before that they had a few years in the 11-12 million range. Basically, they have 10+ seasons in the 11-13 million range. Those seasons were when it was already an old show.

    Why can’t Idol have this same consistency & stability in ratings that Survior has? If you look at the viewership of Idol, they’ve always fluctuated. Both shows change casts each season.

    BTW: Last season’s Survivor premiere ratings weren’t the lowest ever, it was the season before that. Last season’s premiere actually had higher ratings than the previous season.

  • bridgette12

    And just because you call yourself a songwriter, don’t mean you are. As for Kelly and Carrie, they are known for their singing, not their songwriting. Who cares if they can write or not, when you sell millions written by other people. Songwriter is an art, not everyone can do it well or actually make a living off of it. Anyone can write a song, but few are able to earn money off of it.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    The new judges, tweaks,etc. may not be able to change the intra-season pattern. But I have to believe there was some hope they’d stop the season-to-season free fall. Otherwise, why bother?

    The show itself actually can change the shape of the ratings curve during the season, at least during the voting rounds.

    WNTS did curves of the ratings in various recent seasons. There’s always a steep drop early in the audition rounds (though it looks like some seasons are steeper than others), and then there are major differences in whether a season drops a bunch during the voting rounds or stays pretty flat.

    http://whatnottosing.com/library/editorials.asp?id=91#.UuFyqM0QGM4

  • perfectstorm

    And just because you call yourself a songwriter, don’t mean you are. Songwriter is an art, not everyone can do it well or actually make a living off of it. Anyone can write a song, but few are able to earn money off of it.

    Just because someone hasn’t made tons of money selling a song doesn’t mean they aren’t a good song writer. A lot of chart topping hits are the most poorly written.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    And just because you call yourself a songwriter, don’t mean you are. As for Kelly and Carrie, they are known for their singing, not their songwriting. Who cares if they can write or not, when you sell millions written by other people.

    Of course, since Clarkson and Underwood have written some of their own hits, they presumably care.

    “Songwriter” means that you write songs. That’s all. When y’all start adding adjectives to it, then I’ll develop an opinion on the validity of those adjectives… but “songwriter” itself is satisfied by the writing of songs, regardless of whether these songs are hits.

  • Tinawina

    Yep. The season to season drops are pretty inevitable, all they can do is try to minimize it. That part is done. But what happens during the season they can affect. If they can retain viewers in the demo better than usual during the road to May (which means, keep the drops fairly small and pull a few weeks with even ratings and/or mild upticks) and trend upwards near the end with a finale pretty close in ratings to where they began, this season will be a sucess. The suits already said they are no longer expecting domination. They just want Idol to end the year a top 10/15 show in the demo. It’s doable if the cast clicks.

  • Corrine43180

    When nsync was at their prime, I didn’t see a Justin Timberlake then either. Never thought he would be the breakout megastar he came to be. So, for me, who knows about 1D yet.

  • standtotheright

    The definition of “hack” is someone who *is* getting paid to publish their work; the pejorative comes from the idea that the work is dull or unoriginal (or, in certain fields, fast and loose with the facts).

    I personally think CD has an ear for melody and is responsible for some good tunes, but “publishing and selling” his songs doesn’t prove anything one way or the other about relative levels of hackery.

    At any rate, most of the self-styled songwriters who have come off the show have sold at least a few of their songs for money: I think nearly all of them have managed to license songs for other use, beyond the sales of the associated albums.

  • standtotheright

    I’m sure that part of it is that Survivor’s concept (First World adults sent to a remote location to engage in their own murder-free Hunger Games) has only faced haphazard cloning (TAR is distinct in several ways), whereas AI has had not one, but two, major clones launched to compete with it, as well as some niche-channel alternatives for genre fans who didn’t feel particularly well served by it.

  • $18214921

    Anyone can write a song and every person who has been on Idol who has written a little ditty can throw on their resume or biography, they are a songwriter. But being good and being able to sell in the music business matters. If it didn’t matter, “good” songwriters wouldn’t be in demand as they are by a lot of singers neither would they get well paid for every song they sell and song downloaded. Taylor Swift makes megabucks because she writes her own songs, plus sings them. What she makes in one year is double what Carrie and Kelly make put together.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Anybody can write a song and every person who has been on Idol who has written a little ditty can throw on their resume or biography, they are a songwriter.

    If songwriting is that trivially easy and widespread, this raises the question of why so many Idol contestants in past season hadn’t written songs or, at least, never talked about writing songs.

    But being good and being able to sell in the music business matters.

    Anybody who believes I’ve said otherwise has missed some of my livelier rants lately. When you start appending “successful,” or “hit-producing,” or “record-breaking” to “songwriter,” then there’s an implied metric and it had better be true. There are people in any field who are simply in the field but not very good at it (or not very experienced and proven yet); they’re still allowed to list their work on their resume.

    I swear, I should do a weekly online newsletter of This Week in Bitchiness, Pedantry, and the Vicious Application of Statistics to keep the world up to speed on my opinions.

  • ptebwwong

    There’s 2 major competitions competing with Idol which Survivor doesn’t have. However, even before these 2 shows premiered Idol’s viewership still fluctuated. The viewership was not usually in a stable range. It’s possible it’s due to the type of contestants each year & whether there’s interest in them.

  • standtotheright

    Fortunately, there’s a lot of room for success and making a living in the industry between Taylor Swift and putting up a bedroom EP of songs via Tunecore.
    I sincerely doubt that Clarkson and Underwood go to awards shows, see Taylor Swift, and gnash their teeth over the paltry state of their careers.

  • elliegrll

    http://www.deadline.com/2013/09/tv-ratings-survivor-x-factor-americas-got-talent-finale-big-brother-finale/

    According to the article linked above the September 18, 2013 debut episode of Survivor was its lowest rated episode ever, and down 19% in comparison to the September 2012 episode.

    According to this one, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/16/entertainment/la-et-ct-tv-ratings-survivor-blood-water-nfl-once-upon-a-time-20131216, the December 2013 finale only drew 10.2 million viewers. The demo rating was down 22% in comparison to the previous season.

    ETA: The comparisons that I am making are to the same times of year, so the September episodes versus the previous year’s episode that aired in September. But you are right that the February 2013 episode drew fewer than 10 million viewers. This would seem to knock a few more holes in the theory that Survivor is holding up better than AI.

  • tripp_ncwy

    THR: TV Ratings: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Slips to 6.7 Million After Premiere

    The top 10 p.m. showing across all of television in the targeted adults 18-49 demographic, Duck Dynasty was down half of a point for a 2.9 rating.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-ratings-duck-dynasty-slips-673686

  • elliegrll

    I think the 40% debut drop for season 11, and I believe for the season the demo drop was over 30%, would indicate that stacking the show with WGWG is not something that “worked”.

  • Kariann Hart

    Too bad because yesterday’s show was better than both last week. There is a lot of talent being presented and less of the joke contestants.

  • Karen C

    Why can’t Idol have this same consistency & stability in ratings that Survior has? If you look at the viewership of Idol, they’ve always fluctuated. Both shows change casts each season.

    I think it’s because although the cast changes in both, liking a cast or cast member of a talent show is much more subjective because it is at least partially dependant on if someone likes the music of the contestants, which is very subjective. People also become fans of one person on a talent show, too. So a person might watch or not watch Idol based on if they like one contestant. With a show like Survivor, someone might like the concept of the show more than just being a fan of one person, so the audience might be steadier.

  • Ria.

    That is an outrageously ignorant statement.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    Reminder:

    Can we stick to discussing the RATINGS in this thread and lay off the gross generalizations and insults. Also, the re-hashing of past seasons is off topic.

  • Dewayne Boyd

    Not sure if this is affecting the ratings, but this year is similar to last year in the favoritism. Last year, it was the girls. This year, it’s young people. This year, they act like you can’t sing if you’re over 24. I prefer The Voice, where at least some of the people get some chance no matter how old they are.

    Do we really believe almost all the best unsigned singers in America are under 20? It’s ridiculous. This is discrimination even beyond the usual discrimination of an age limit.

    Daughtry was way over 20. Adam and others were well into their 20s. They aren’t even looking at the history of their own show when making casting decisions.

  • Karen C

    I think it’s the variety that matters too. Even if they all play guitar or other instruments, having different genres makes the show interesting.

    WGWG isn’t a genre, but musicians from different genres happen to play guitar.

  • Karen C

    In all those years, at least 2 or 3 other contestants also played instruments.

  • Karen C

    I don’t think people look just for a WGWG. I think they look for someone with some originality, and in some cases this is the WGWG.