American Idol Ratings Up 12% from Last Year’s Finale

American Idol ratings from TVBytheNumbers:

Of course, Fox dominated the final night of the 2010-11 broadcast season with the two hour season finale of American Idol which scored a 9.2 adults 18-49 rating and 29.3 million viewers. That was up 12% for adults 18-49 and 21% for viewership compared to last year’s finale 8.2 adults 18-49 rating and 24.223 million average viewers. It was also the first time in five years that American Idol finale ratings topped the previous season’s.

As you can imagine, Nigel Lythgoe is a very happy man this morning. There was some crowing yesterday about the DWTS finale beating the Idol final by 1m viewers. But there’s not much for the folks at ABC to celebrate this morning.

Nigel tweets, “We beat the Dancing With The Stars Tuesday finale by +37% in Total Viewers (29.3 vs. 21.4 Mil) and +100% among Adults 18-49 (9.2 vs. 4.6).”

Ha! More factoids from @Fox_Research:

Last night’s #AMERICANIDOL finale was the most-watched program of the TV season (excl. sports and Academy Awards)

Most-watched #IDOL finale since Season 7 (Cook/Archuleta)

Most-watched #IDOL telecast (29.3m viewers) since the season 9 premiere on 1/12/2010

Half-hour breakdown:

8:00 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 7.0 23 22.952
8:30 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 8.8 25 27.782
9:00 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 9.8 26 30.633
9:30 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 9.8 24 31.275

10:00-10:07 12.4 10.1 Teen rtg 38.6m viewers

  • Pam

    These ratings are VERY good. If I were Nigel, I’d be happy too.

    ETA: The ratings for the performance show might have been better if the night hadn’t been switched to Tuesday. I think a lot of people got confused and forgot about the switch.

  • Valentin432

    Nigel can celebrate.
    AI did not only survive Simon Cowell’s departure, the ratings went up for the first time in years.

    I hope the kids can find success in this depressing recording industry and garantee some lasting legacy for season 10.

  • springboard
  • stwbcross

    I can’t begrudge Nigel his celebration. He put on a show that was worthy of it’s audience numbers.

  • iluvai

    That’s great! Last night’s show was really good. The whole season was enjoyable, although strange at times. :)

  • Valentin432

    Another factoid:

    Update: From 10:00-10:07 Eastern when the winner was announced, the show averaged 38.6 million viewers.

  • http://www.myspace.com/rjveritas MrRJ

    The Gaga effect… I doubt the viewership was up at all due to two boring performers. Have Gaga and Tyler perform and you bring in the curious. Note the actual performance show the night before was not as well watched, so it most likely wasn’t an increase of those who cared who won.

  • sallysimmons

    ETA: The ratings for the performance show might have been better if the night hadn’t been switched to Tuesday. I think a lot of people got confused and forgot about the switch.

    That’s what happened to me. Well, I didn’t get confused. I just don’t pay attention to every detail so I tuned in when I always tune in and found I had missed the final.

    I love these numbers just because they fly in the face of the ‘worst final two ever’ meme.

  • http://www.myspace.com/rjveritas MrRJ

    10:00 to 10:07 spike is easy to explain…..it is news time in the midwest. Non-Idol watchers in Chicago, St Louis, Minneapolis etc are tuning into local news…..This is NOT interest in who won Idol.

  • smart141voter

    No Conspiracy in American Idol? Really?
    1. The demographic of American Idol viewers is mostly viewers from the Southern States (South) (see wikipedia).
    2. The rating trend was downward. This year revenue is down 17% than last year. New producer (Nigel Lythgoe) has to do something about it.
    3. Out of 10 winners 8 winners were from the South (2 of them are very successful: Kelly Clarkson & Carrie Underwood; the majority of their music-genre fans is from the South).
    4. There were 2 ‘potential’ contenders from the South in Top 13 (Lauren Alaina & Scott McCreery; their music-genre is popular in the South).
    5. The voting system is NOT verifiable. Even if a contestant is considered very talented by the music experts/industry/viewers, he/she can be voted off, and suspicion about manipulation is almost zero. Because in people’s mind: “Because viewers can vote unlimited, contestant whose fans vote like ‘crazy’ will win, contestants who can’t generate excitement will lose.” This is where TPTB has the ‘loophole’: they reserve the right to disqualify, block or remove any votes from any individual. They have created their own privilege to steer the direction of the outcome of the show to what they deem necessary for the sake of the show. Viewers are just ‘pawns’ and ‘scapegoats’ (“How come they are so stupid to vote him/her off?”; Remember: ‘cougars’/’tweens/teens were to be blamed ) The contestants are the talented young musicians who are in desperate need to survive. Absolutely they are thankful for being exposed to millions and got (meagerly) paid too (they get $1000/week; in comparison: host, judges get between $10M-$20M for each of them; who knows how big is the chunk for TPTB) Remember: without these contestants, there is no show. But they better shut up. The repercussion is huge.
    6. The goal of “All New” American Idol was to reverse the downward trend. How? Courting the viewers from the South. How? The winner has to be from the South.
    7. Eliminate all 5 female contestants (they all are NOT from the South)
    8. Then Paul, Stefano, Casey, Jacob, James, Haley.
    9. Lauren & Scotty: in the final.
    1st & 2nd from the South. Double whammy. Rating soaring (majority of viewers (South) love it). Trend reversed (even without Simon, wow). Goal achieved. Huge success. $$$ pouring in. ‘Long live American $dol (& N$gel)’!

  • Elliegrll

    10:00 to 10:07 spike is easy to explain…..it is news time in the midwest. Non-Idol watchers in Chicago, St Louis, Minneapolis etc are tuning into local news…..This is NOT interest in who won Idol.

    Those newscasts didn’t draw 30 million people. Who won AI is a water cooler topic, even when the winner is obvious, or when the season has been a bust like last year. The last seven minutes seeing a huge spike is nothing new, it’s happened every year, even when the show first started.

    (see wikipedia)

    That’s funny.

    The Gaga effect… I doubt the viewership was up at all due to two boring performers. Have Gaga and Tyler perform and you bring in the curious. Note the actual performance show the night before was not as well watched, so it most likely wasn’t an increase of those who cared who won.

    19 really doesn’t advertise who will be on the finale, so how would so many people know that these two would performing? the finales tend to have something for everyone, no matter what type of music people like, so the ratings tend to be higher. Plus, people want to see the winner crowned, because it’s a feel good moment, even if people don’t like who wins. Most people like to see someone achieve their dream.

  • gabriel oak

    If they have country singers again next year I think the show will bomb.

    I don’t get why the viewership is so dominated by the South. It doesn’t make sense to me.

  • alxsavage

    A lot of people outside the traditional idol-watching audience were interested in watching Bono/Edge perform. Idol fans somehow might find them boring, but there is a reason why these two guys are still adding numbers to the highest grossing tour of all times.

    I’m not saying that they’re the one big reason behind these numbers, but definitely, along with Gaga (and her millions of followers knew she would perform), a contributing factor.

  • Elliegrll

    I’m not saying that they’re the one big reason behind these numbers, but definitely, along with Gaga (and her millions of followers knew she would perform), a contributing factor

    The results show that Gaga was on last year was one of the lowest rated episodes of the season. At the time, I believe that it was the lowest.

  • Studio57

    I didn’t watch last night ( work), but my family tuned in only because Modern Family was interrupted by weather forcasts. Lots of strong storms that came through the east last night. Did anyone else have that happen?

  • http://www.myspace.com/rjveritas MrRJ

    Elliegrll, —the spike was 8 million for 7 minutes.

  • Valentin432

    Spikes at the end of the idol finale are something that happens every year.
    All the fox stations were broadcasting AI last night even when most of the other networks were preempted in the midwest because of the storms.

  • CCOREY2034

    Wow its definitely amazing Idol was up this much. Highest rated Finale since Season number 7. Cannot believe the show flourished so much and it was out its star Simon Cowell. Last nights show was evident Season 10 had a roster of amazing talent. There was a renewed energy in the show. Only thing I didn’t like was lack of judging. Season 10 was definitely a good season. FOX did the impossible they not only survived Simon’s exit, the show flourished.

  • Pam

    Deleted

  • Tess

    1. The demographic of American Idol viewers is mostly viewers from the Southern States (South) (see wikipedia).

    Based on the fact that 2/5ths of the American population is Southern with the other 3/5ths divided somewhat equally (the northeast being the smallest) between the west, midwest, and northeast this isn’t surprising.

    And, I thought this years ratings for the final and the finale were all about Haley’s fans boycotting the final and then tuning in for the finale where she was supposed to sing her potential number 1 hit. Obviously her fans did a good job because the numbers absolutely reflected their actions.

  • abbysee

    Elliegrll, —the spike was 8 million for 7 minutes.

    Oh yeah, that was for the news…..seriously, the show was amazing and the numbers reflected the interest for season 10 in general. Nigel done good! No other way to spin it!

  • abbysee

    And, I thought this years ratings for the final and the finale were all about Haley’s fans boycotting the final and then tuning in for the finale where she was supposed to sing her potential number 1 hit. Obviously her fans did a good job because the numbers absolutely reflected their actions.

    <3

  • Buffynut

    I understand Nigel and FOX being happy about the ratings increase over last year. But weren’t the final and finale ratings of S9 really bad? How do last night’s ratings compare with Seasons 7 and 8. Do we have those here somewhere?

    ETA: NVM, I see that’s what the spreadsheet is.

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    smart141voter: This year revenue is down 17% than last year.

    Not true. For Q1 2011, revenue that comes directly from American Idol decreased only 2.3% year over year (from $29.1 million to $28.432 million). The entire $0.7 million decrease can be accounted by for the 2011 quarter involving fewer hours of programming (as it did).

    I prefer my conspiracy theories based on accurate evidence.

  • BeachBum

    The reason ratings were so good is because there was hardly anything to compete against. Modern Family??? Give me a break. I would have LOVED to see the numbers if it went up against something formidable… such as the DWTS finale. Rock On!!

  • Elliegrll

    The reason ratings were so good is because there was hardly anything to compete against. Modern Family??? Give me a break. I would have LOVED to see the numbers if it went up against something formidable… such as the DWTS finale. Rock On!!

    Modern Family’s numbers were surprisingly good. The adult rating was the same a tenth of a point higher than it was last week, and they drew 10.2 million people. But, I don’t know what shows could beat AI, considering that once again, it will finish the 2011 season as the number one show on the air in terms of both viewers and adults, and probably every other demo, too.

  • brian_ny1976

    maybe because lee dewyze wasnt as good as people thought..haha…oh well

  • smart141voter

    eilonwy says:
    05/26/2011 at 7:51 pm
    smart141voter: This year revenue is down 17% than last year.

    Not true. For Q1 2011, revenue that comes directly from American Idol decreased only 2.3% year over year (from $29.1 million to $28.432 million). The entire $0.7 million decrease can be accounted by for the 2011 quarter involving fewer hours of programming (as it did).

    I prefer my conspiracy theories based on accurate evidence.

    Correction: This year profit is down 17% than last season (instead revenue, profit)

    The report is as good a barometer as you’ll find for Idol’s economic performance….

    Lower profit is scarier than lower revenue….

  • McCreerian

    If they have country singers again next year I think the show will bomb.

    Doubt that. I think the country singers kept the ratings up. After 3 years in a row of the “soft rockers” doing well, it was nice to see country singers do well for a change. And the most successful winner was a country singer, so….

  • smart141voter

    American Idol profits down 17% from last season

    http://www.rickey.org/american-idol-profits-down-17-from-last-season

  • McCreerian

    This further cements the fact that the show will be fine without Simon. I am going to boldly predict the show has at least 5 seasons left. Even if it lost 10 million viewers, it would still be pretty good. Look at Survivor. Its still hanging in there.

  • easyrider707

    Folks tuned in to see the show. I felt the entire season the diversity of contestants were a big strength. As a group of 13, with really good production of group acts and with guests and with the hugh lineup of performers the show was very well done.

    The strength of the show, the diverse talent mix, also became a bit of a weakness mid to late season. As some of the diverse talent left the show was less interesting as a whole and the group numbers and duets were not near as entertaining as when the entire group is together – that is why DWTS beat idol some this season in terms of totals each week.

    All in all a very good season and good luck to ALL these kids. I thought the contracts were cheesy and way too low, especially given these kids do not write their own material or play instruments on recordings.