Thursday Ratings: American Idol Falls Against NCAA Basketball

Ratings are in from TVByTheNumbers

A one hour version of American Idol was 4.5 adults 18-49 rating, vs. a 4.9 rating last week. Even with a repeat of Touch, Fox topped the nights adults 18-49 ratings averages.

Idol was up against NCAA basketball.

8:00PM

FOX American Idol 4.5 14 15.520
NBC Community 2.2 7 4.894
ABC Missing (series premiere) 2.0 6 10.560
CBS 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament (8-11p) 1.7 5 4.721
CW The Vampire Diaries 1.2 4 2.622

8:30PM

NBC 30 Rock 2.0 6 4.045

9:00PM

ABC Grey’s Anatomy 3.0 8 9.673
NBC The Office 2.3 6 4.876
FOX Touch -R 2.2 6 8.667
CW The Secret Circle 0.7 2 1.619

9:30PM

NBC Up All Night 1.7 4 3.631

10:00PM

ABC Private Practice 2.2 6 7.005
NBC Awake 1.6 4 5.052

  • Anonymous

    It dropped 8% and that gap should close once its adjusted up. Not too bad of a drop with all things considered-DST, march madness, a results show, etc.

  • http://www.velvetspark.com Jordan Seltzer

    Thats hilarious – basketball got 4.7 million viewers – hardly a reason for the decrease.

  • Anonymous

    Those aren’t the final ratings for basketball, they said it will see some big adjustments.

  • Anonymous

    Only 15.5 million are now watching Idol?  … that’s pretty bad. 

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    Remember the days when the thought of any Idol telecast, even the boring results shows, hitting the 4s in the demo was crazy talk? Hell, even 5s were an anomoly. Ahh, the good old days of last year. LOL

    Eh, these ratings are fine in our new reality. It still beat everything else on air by a large margin. TBBT will be back next week and we’ll go back to being number 2.

  • http://twitter.com/ladymctech ladymctech

    Yep, we have to keep it in perspective with the “times.” I hope March is over in a hurry RE the March Madness games *ducks — sorry, not a college basketball fan, LOL*

  • http://twitter.com/newbornstarr Wally.

    Yesssss Community. Yessssss

  • Anonymous

    I remember the days of 25-30 million viewers (I guess that was in its heyday in Season 5). When you think about it, that’s a loss of about 10 million viewers. Wow. If I were running the show, I’d go back to those shows and SEE what was going on to draw in those viewers.  Clearly it was a different – and better show – in those days.

  • Tess

    Nope…nothing has changed but the times and viewing habit IMO.  6 years ago people were still using antennas to get programming…now, most people have cable or satellite and that means a hundred new options to watch.  People also have on demand TV…built in DVRs with their systems, Netflix etc.  TV viewing has changed a whole, whole bunch.  All of network TV is suffering.  I don’t think (other than an occasional one off like some sporting events or a royal wedding) that we will see numbers over 20 million again.  Besides…every kid I know seems to watch TV through their computer.  The days when the whole family gathered around the TV is long, long gone.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NO4G73GL7KDSP4K3ERYEZJ5FYY Joseph

    Are you going to argue that it is the norm for a show in it’s eleventh season to still post the same numbers it had in its 5th season? Can you name one example where that has ever been the case? One?

  • Anonymous

    I disagree. It was a different show in the early days.  It was more authentic, more real, less manipulative, no instruments, not as much corporate injection, the judges were entertaining and the show centered around singing. Period.  People were drawn into this ‘new’ show.  Since then, it’s become totally corporate/money driven with authenticness and rawness totally gone.  Different show back then.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GMHHT37UJFYFFFO52FS47Z3MGA Nicole

    What’s inauthentic about instruments? I think allowing them has helped make Idol a little less stale. 

    I’m happy Community did so well against Idol.

  • Kirsten

    I disagree. It was a different show in the early days.  It was more
    authentic, more real, less manipulative, no instruments, not as much
    corporate injection, the judges were entertaining and the show centered
    around singing. Period.

    I think I was watching a different show than you. I really started watching in Season 2 and I remember not only the Ford commercials, but promos for other stuff too (wasn’t there one night where they all had their hair done up by some beauty products firm and the punchline was something to do with Ruben having no hair?). The Coke cups were prominently displayed and AT&T got their mentions. The judges were aggravating (asking for one thing one week and another thing another week and totally missed the fact that Carmen bleated like a goat and Ruben had totally lost his voice….and that he was selling his friend’s t-shirts right on the air with help from Ryan!). There was not one, but two scandals (Frenchie and Corey both being DQ’ed). And the manipulation was nuts. Anybody remember the “pick-a-random-song-from-a-bowl” which Nigel eventually admitted there were only actually two or three songs in it. There was a huge scandal related to the pick that year because Kim got a song she’d previously slayed on the show, Ruben got a song right up his alley, and Clay had to sing a song in a minor chord about suicide and Simon called him dreary (and just before Clay went on air, they inserted another verse into his song and he didn’t even have time to sing it with the band to practice…this is known breathlessly on the knoll as the “Vincident”). And then there was poor Vanessa who got the boot the week that the producers had her call Ryan a performing monkey. And all the controversy about Josh being in the armed forces and how the producers were pandering to the hawks and just when did he develop a twang and why isn`t he being deployed because there is a war going on. And then we found out later that Corey said Paula was giving him special consideration due to services rendered…

    So, lots of corporate injections, annoying judges and manipulation. But, I agree there were very little instruments. It was all backing tracks. I think the live band was an improvement.

  • Kitwana

    It’s sad that ratings did not increase with an appearance by Daughtry, which sold 5 million records just five years ago. It’s also surprising that the 18-49 demo did not increase with Demi Lovato who has publicly battled eating disorders and depression and who has an MTV show documenting her recovery. Skyscraper was also a massive hit. The tween demo must have increased. Maybe Nigel has to rethink the format of the results show.

    I agree that few shows continue to maintain their high ratings near the end of their run. The only ones I can think of are Cheers, Friends, Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond but those were really pop culture phenoms.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SYFK77IYLRQIVATQ2MJKSW2J7Y Pam

    This doesn’t surprise me.  The NCAA tournament is becoming very exciting this year with each game with a few upsets.  UConn who won the NCAA championship last year and is already out of the tournament as of their game last night against Iowa State so at least things aren’t dull.

    As far as AI goes, other than it showing its age, there have been one too many manipulations since the first week of the live shows.  The producers have took the viewer vote and said by some of their decisions, that their votes don’t matter and that they are going to do things their way and guess what, the viewers are saying that they don’t like it and can’t say I blame them.  Of course, the results shows usually have lower ratings than performance shows anyway.  Considering the competition, still not too bad.

  • Anonymous

    Community actually won the narrower demo of 18-34; I guess Idol picked up some of the Community viewers for the second half of results.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cathy-Knott/563794735 Cathy Knott

    It allowed mediocre singers to hide behind their guitars.  It also started the WGWG trend. 

  • larc

    I agree that few shows continue to maintain their high ratings near the
    end of their run. The only ones I can think of are Cheers, Friends,
    Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond but those were really pop culture
    phenoms.

    You can add 9th-season NCIS to that list, although it’s clearly not near the end of its run (CBS just renewed it for next season).  The show had its most viewed episode ever earlier this season.  It continually bests Idol (and Glee) in viewers if not in demo.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, 18 million are. This is just a results show, no big deal. And you aren’t counted unless you are a nielson subscriber.

  • Anonymous

    I doubt the “manipulation” had anything to do with it.

  • Anonymous

    I was actually watching YouTube videos of the first three season, and the talent level has improved A LOT since then. There was so much more bad singing and mediocracy and it felt way more like a karaoke show. Season 4 is when things really started to get better.

  • Hazehel

    That is actually not a bad number within the context of this season.  The season started badly, dropping 24-27% in the 18/49 demo compared to season 10. It then got even worse later, one week the drop was nearly 40%.  For this result show the drop is 21% compared to Season 10, so it is clawing back some of the lost audience.   

    You can expect worse ratings later if this season follows the pattern of previous seasons – you usually get the lowest-rated shows later.  But if it can keep the season-to-season drop down to 20% the rest of this season it would be doing pretty good.

  • Anonymous

     You only think that because your favorite was on in those days. Move on. Most people have from following Taylor.

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    If idol can claw itself back to a consistent 20% drop, I’d consider that pretty good. Hmm. Now I have a new goal to hope for.  :)

  • Anonymous

    That’s not true… it’s not a secret the peak of the series was in Season 5 and the percentage drop from that year to now is drastic.  I mean, really, 10 million down?  If it were me, again, what was different in that year?  Less commercialism (yes, there was the Coke and Ford endorsement), but NOTHING like it is now.  And the manipulation recently?  Man, I’m glad people are getting so bored with it that they’re tuning out.  And more will tune out with continued back handed plotted scenarios to get people to tune in…. and in fact, didn’t work this week… viewers dropped again.

  • Anonymous

    The peak was season 5 because season 4 had an awesome winner in Carrie and she made people even more interested. The show has declined since season 5 because Taylor was such a massive failure and an embarrassment of a winner. People realize that it isn’t just a pure talent show when joke contestants like Sanjaya and Taylor go far.

  • Anonymous

    Well you can believe and convince yourself of whatever you want, and you can insult Taylor and whoever else, but it doesn’t change history or the facts of the steady and drastic decline in viewership.  I stick to my theory that the talent and the production of the show peaked in the early days .

  • Elliegrll

    If idol can claw itself back to a consistent 20% drop, I’d consider that pretty damn good. Hmm. Now I have a new goal to hope for.  :)

    Hasn’t the drop been 21 to 22% for more than a month or more?  I know that that’s been the case for the household ratings, but I haven’t looked at the demo.

  • Elliegrll

    Carrie wasn’t on the show during season five, so how can she take the credit for people watching that year?  I don’t think that most AI fans are like those who follow the careers of the alums post show, or who buy the music.  Most people watch the show for the show.  I think that this is even the case for those of us in the bubble who post on message boards.  If the show isn’t good and entertaining, why would people waste their time watching?  

    I thought that we could have put this theory away this year, since Scotty has been successful, but the show is seeing their biggest season to season drop ever.  While some people may have been entertained last year, others were not. 

  • Anonymous

    Idol will be around for many more years, but Taylor is to blame for people not taking the show as seriously. He was the first winner to not have any hits and after he won people stopped taking winning seriously, since Daughtry ended up overshadowing him.

  • Hazehel

    The decline in Idol viewership for many years was in line with the general drop in viewers of broadcast network, there is nothing unusual about the decline.  In fact in Season 6 the show has some of the highest-rated episodes in Idol history for its audition episodes (yes, even higher than Season 5).  The fact that Season 6 averaged lower than Season 5 was because that it didn’t have very good talent that chimed with viewers, that is all, nothing to do with commercialism or whatever other theories fans might conjured up.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not surprising to me that the season 6 auditon rounds were some of the highest rated, since it had just come off of the single highest rated show of the decade (sans sporting events) – the finale the year before.

  • Valentin432

    Last year saw an increase year to year from season 9 ratings for the first time in 5 years, what exactly explain that other than a good season?

    Nothing explains the year to year deacrease if you don’t take into account the massive change that are two big hit shows similar to idol airing during the year.
    Your theory is that people only watch for the show, last year the show had an increase ni ratings and the tour was very successfully, proof of a popular season, yet the ratings declined.

    Season 5/Season 6 which were the peak of the idol era in term of ratings were the time Idol alumnis had their 3 biggest eras with Breakaway, Some Hearts and Daughtry, there was also a lot of big success stories like JHud oscars and several alumnis with hits/successfull albums and that made the show successfull.

  • shell29

    LOL…Taylor is to blame for the decline in ratings?  I know he’s considered the red-headed stepchild of Idol but I don’t think we can pin this on him.  Most of the audience outside of the “bubble” doesn’t care how the winners or finalists fare once the show is over.  The failure of Lee’s post-Idol album didn’t seem to hurt season ten, and he’s had less real world success than Taylor.  

    Idol is just old.  Eleven years is a good, long run.  They weren’t going to keep pulling in the same ratings that they had years ago. 

  • Valentin432

    The decline in viewership for broadcast television doesn’t explain why idol has declined between season 5 and 10 on its own.
    Broadcast television has been declining for the past 30 years. Idol rose and exploded at a moment the networks were already losing viewers fast/

  • Anonymous

    The ratings have dropped this year. Is Scotty to blame for the ratings drop? Have people stopped watching the show because of the winner last year?

  • Elliegrll

    Idol will be around for many more years, but Taylor is to blame for people not taking the show as seriously. He was the first winner to not have any hits and after he won people stopped taking winning seriously, since Daughtry ended up overshadowing him.

    I don’t think this is true.  I don’t think that people in the industry, many who don’t watch or like the show, and to an extent, even some viewers have ever taken AI seriously on the music front.  Everyone from AI has had to prove themselves post show, and work as hard, if not harder, than other new artists. 

     

    Valentin said: Last year saw an increase year to year from season 9 ratings for the first time in 5 years, what exactly explain that other than a good season?

    It was a good season, but we have to remember that the comparison is with season 9’s ratings, which saw a decrease because of the quality of the season.  Up to the final round of season 9, the year to year decline was on part with what AI had been getting over the course of the previous seasons.
    Back to season 10, it wasn’t without its own issues that could be playing a role in why so many decided not to tune in this year.  

  • Anonymous

    The over saturation of singing shows and the fact that Idol is in its 11th season are most likely the reason for the decline of veiwership. Also,The judges suck big time!

  • larc

    Final ratings are up a little for Idol.

    Time
    Net
    Show
    18-49 Rating
    18-49 Share
    Viewers Live+SD (million)

    8:00PM
    FOX
    American Idol
    4.6
    14
    16.02

    NBC
    Community
    2.2
    7
    4.75

    ABC
    Missing (Series Premiere)
    2.1
    6
    10.60

    CBS
    NCAA Basketball (Live 8-10PM EST) VCU vs. Wichita State
    1.5
    5
    4.30

    CW
    The Vampire Diaries
    1.2
    4
    2.64

  • Elliegrll

    Broadcast television has been declining for the past 30 years. Idol rose and exploded at a moment the networks were already losing viewers fast

    I don’t think it’s logical to have expected that AI wouldn’t be impacted by the decline in television and broadcast television viewing.  No matter how good it is or isn’t, it would still face some of the same issues as other broadcast shows; more cable channels and increased competition, DVRs, online streams, and video on demand.  
    None of the shows that were at the top with AI five or six years ago are seeing the same ratings that they were then.   AI was new and shiny back then, but now it’s going to be harder for it to attract new viewers, especially with the introduction of copycat shows.

  • Anonymous

    I think Taylor would be shocked and pleasantly surprised if he knew had sooo much influence during his stint that he could raise and lower the audience level of a mega-conglomerate as Idol in subsequent years.   Haha!  The fact is that the show is different now… much more manipulated by its producers – you Nigel and you Simon Fuller – than any contestant.   The $$ and sponsorship is ingrained in it’s pores now and that is hurting it’s ratings, IMO.

  • Anonymous

    I think Taylor would be shocked and pleasantly surprised if he knew had sooo much influence during his stint that he could raise and lower the audience level of a mega-conglomerate as Idol in subsequent years.   Haha!  The fact is that the show is different now… much more manipulated by its producers – you Nigel and you Simon Fuller – than any contestant.   The $$ and sponsorship is ingrained in it’s pores now and that is hurting it’s ratings, IMO.

  • CircadianDomination

    Both Cook and Allen were just fine without instruments. Instruments have had their downside, but they’re not the reason for the decline of the program.

    As for the NCAA tournament – it was also on TBS, TNT, and TruTV. I’d like to see the combined ratings of those four channels. 

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    Hasn’t the drop been 21 to 22% for more than a month or more?  I know
    that that’s been the case for the household ratings, but I haven’t
    looked at the demo.

    Is that the case? I had no idea! Then I’m definitely good with it, especially if the demo number has seen a similar decline.:)

    The decline in viewership for broadcast television doesn’t explain why idol has declined between season 5 and 10 on its own.
    Broadcast
    television has been declining for the past 30 years. Idol rose and
    exploded at a moment the networks were already losing viewers fast/

    I think the normal pattern is for a show to spend a number of seasons rising to what becomes its peak, and then (hopefully) plateau for a minute before it starts to sink. Idol just did what all shows do, its just that its peak was really really high.

    The yearly drop from season 5 to now wasn’t a big deal IMO since as was said, it was right in line with what most shows that were not in their upward ratings phase were seeing, which was matching the overall decline in viewership. But I think you are right… this year’s decline started right from the first episode and was probably about the fact that there was serious competition for the first time. I think the badly handled auditions and Hollywood Week made things worse, but a strong cast could be luring some of those people back, fingers crossed.

    Considering a 10-15% drop was fairly normal for this show I would see a 20% drop as not so bad under the circumstances.

  • Hazehel

    Hasn’t the drop been 21 to 22% for more than a month or more?  I know that that’s been the case for the household ratings, but I haven’t looked at the demo.

    The drop for the 18/49 demo has been fluctuating around 30%.  These are the drop from Season 10, just some numbers I did quickly, so there may be some errors.  

    Ep 1) -24%
    Ep 2) -27%
    Ep 3) Sunday (no equivalent show in Season 10)
    Ep 4)  -29%
    Ep 5) -29%
    Ep 6)  -33%
    Ep 7)  -27%
    Ep 8)  -27% (Hollywood week start)
    Ep 9)  -21%
    Ep 10)  -26%
    Ep 11)  -23%
    Ep 12)  -30%
    Ep 13)  -38%
    Ep 14)  -33% (semifinal starts)
    Ep 15)  -36%
    Ep 16)  -34%
    Ep 17)  -30% (Top 13)
    Ep 18)  -27%
    Ep 19) -29%
    Ep 20)  -19% (using final number)

    We’ll see if this last number is just a blip or the drop will go back up next week.

  • Anonymous

    It’s always been manipulated. Nothing new to see. Even more so with Simon Cowell.

  • Elliegrll

    Thats hilarious – basketball got 4.7 million viewers – hardly a reason for the decrease.

    Those numbers will be adjusted because of the time zones, but more importantly, I think it was last year where for the first time CBS let other networks carry some games.  Games aired all over cable last night.  They were on TBS, Tru TV, and TNT.  And even though this means that the ratings on CBS won’t be as big, according to the press release, last night’s games drew more people than any first night of the tournament since 1991.  

  • Hazehel

    The decline in viewership for broadcast television doesn’t explain why idol has declined between season 5 and 10 on its own.

    It does actually.  For example, in Season 7, the general decline in TV number was ~10-12%, and Idol decline in overall viewer was just that – 10%.   The decline in broadcast network viewership has been quite sharp this last decade.   For example here is one random weekly viewing number from 2003 – 
    http://www.medialifemagazine.com/news2003/feb03/feb24/3_wed/news1wednesday.html  the #25 show has 13.5 million viewers, last week Smash was the #25 show, and it has 7.7 million viewers, that’s almost half the viewer gone from network TV.  http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/03/13/tv-ratings-broadcast-top-25-the-voice-american-idol-big-bang-theory-top-week-25-ratings/124173/   

  • Valentin432

    No, season 10 wasn’t just a success compared to season 9, it averaged more viewers for performance shows than season 8 did, which is incredible considering the trend between season 6 and season 10.

    You  just can’t explain the ratings decline this year by using the comon explanations used for the first 10 years, not when the X factor, The Voice and others have since then appeared.

  • Valentin432

    The decline has been sharp for the past 30 years, if Idol followed the general decline in broadcast from season to season, it would have been canceled by season 3.

    But, the ratings increased in an incredible way from season 1 to the start of season 6 during a period when ratings were already declining.
    Same thing goes for season 10 that outperformed season 9 even when broadcast television was declining.

    If you take the 25th show in 2007, I’m sure it would be getting under 13.5M viewers, yet Idol tripled their number of viewers in that same period.

  • Hazehel

    The decline in viewership for broadcast television doesn’t explain why idol has declined between season 5 and 10 on its own.

    It does actually.  For example, in Season 7, the general decline in viewer number for network TV for 2007-2008 was ~10%, and the drop in Idol viewer number was just that – 10%.  
    The drop in viewer number for the network has been quite sharp the last decade.  Here’s a random weekly number from 2003 –  
    http://www.medialifemagazine.com/news2003/feb03/feb24/3_wed/news1wednesday.html     
    The #25 show had  13.5 million viewers.  Last week Smash was the #25 show, and it had 7.8 million viewers –  
    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/03/13/tv-ratings-broadcast-top-25-the-voice-american-idol-big-bang-theory-top-week-25-ratings/124173/   Almost half the viewers have disappeared from network TV.   (reposted because the last one somehow disappeared.)

  • Hazehel

    But, the ratings increased in an incredible way from season 1 to the start of season 6 during a period when ratings were already declining.

    The point I am making is that Idol’s ratings didn’t decline disproportionately to the rest of network which is what you were suggesting.  There is nothing exceptional about the decline in Season 7 or 8.   You can say that those 2 season stayed reasonably steady in relation to the rest of the broadast network.   Season 9 was a bad season, so the drop might have been more than usual.   But Season 10 went up, so it did better in comparison to the rest of the TV networks.

    The drop for Season 11 however is due to something else entirely, the glut of singing shows, X-Factor, stupid Idol producers decision, etc..  

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    The decline has been sharp for the past 30 years, if Idol followed the general decline in broadcast from season to season, it would have
    been canceled by season 3.

    But, the ratings increased in an incredible way from season 1 to the
    start of season 6 during a period when ratings were already declining.

    Yes, lots of TV shows that were hits climbed against the tide at first. Many shows saw a period where their ratings climbed despite the general decline in TV viewership. Idol’s ratings going up was NOT unusual, that is how a lot of hit TV shows behave. That is how The Voice is behaving… its ratings now are higher that last year. AI just got higher than everyone else and its ascent took a long time. But so did Modern Family’s(?) and NCIS is still rising.

    Shows reach a point where they have gained all the audience they are going to gain, then the name of the game is to hold on to what they have for as long as they can, and when people quite naturally begin to tune out they try to slow down that process for as long as possible.

    Idol peaked in S6 then basically ran in place for a few season since its decline never outpaced network TV’s. Outside of the end of Season 9, this is the first real honest-to-goodness decline IMO, and its happening alarmingly fast.

    The drop for the 18/49 demo has been fluctuating around 30%.

    Darn it! LOL

  • Elliegrll

    I’m not saying that season 10 wasn’t a success in it’s own right, and as I said, and you are repeating, the increases really took off during the final round, just like the main decreases for season 9 happened during its final round.  My point was that when we look at season 10 having the first ratings increase in five years, we are comparing it to season 9, which was a down year.  You just can’t look at the performance episodes, even though those episodes say a lot about how people feel about the contestants who are performing during the individual seasons.

  • Anonymous

    “The drop for Season 11 however is due to something else entirely, the glut of singing shows, X-Factor, stupid Idol producers decision, etc.. ”

    I agree 100% Idol has been losing about 15% of its audience (mirroring the overall decline in TV viewing) but this season on average its lost 30%. That’s a very significant increase.

  • Valentin432

     I didn’t say that the ratings dropped disproportionaly, I said that you can’t explain the drop for idol between season 6 and season 10 just by the general broadcast television drop, Idol didn’t follow that trend before so something changed between the first five seasons and the secnod five seasons other than the general trend in broadcast television.

  • Valentin432

    There are reasons that are particular to idol that made it behave the way it did for the first six seasons just like for any other show, we can’t just put it on the back of how normal tv shows behave.
    All Tv shows don’t evolfe the same way, some peak in their first season, most failed shows even peak at their first episode.
    Hit tv shows can peak afterwards but I can’t see many that peaked as late as idol did, if you look at House (season 3), scrubs (Season 2), Grey’s Anatomy (season 2), Survivor (season 2), etc.

  • Valentin432

    You want to use the ratings for this season as a proof that post idol success doesn’t matter. At the same time season 10 was a successfull season no matter the way you want to twis it and the show saw a larger decline than ever before.
    Those things doesn’t go together, you can’t use the normal explanations for season 11 with the other shows that have risen since then.

  • Hazehel

    I didn’t say that the ratings dropped disproportionaly, 

    Umm, but it is what you in effect did, because if Idol’s fall for a few years was roughly similar to the rest of the network, then whatever drop Idol had would be proportionate to the rest of the TV network.
      
    Now if you are saying something has changed, then definitely – it stopped growing as a show.   Season 6 is what started the rot  – it inherited great ratings and tremendous buzz from Season 5, started with great numbers, but then it simply started declining.  The contestant that year simply weren’t great, that’s what lost the fizz for the show.  It isn’t so much that the contestants were bad, just that the good ones weren’t interesting or exciting to the viewers.  (Stacking the shows with black girls with big voices didn’t help either, just like stacking the show with white indie girls was a bad idea for Season 9, although I think was not having good male contestants is what distinguishes a bad season.).  I would even say that without Sanjaya, the ratings drop might have been even worse.

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    Well, I’m not trying to say it was carved in stone. You are arguing that Idol’s rise against the tide should have, what…gone on forever? That the fact it stops means something significant? And I am arguing that no, all TV shows eventually stop rising, and it doesn’t have to mean anything extraordinary. All TV shows reach a point where the creative juices don’t flow as well, the main actors leave, the cultural moment passes… whatever. You are looking for something different to explain Idol’s post season 6 ratings, and I’m saying its no more significant than any of the things that go on with any other TV show. It reached a point where it just wasn’t working to the same degree any more just like anything else. The real story is that they got it right for as long as they did to the degree that they did. The ratings curve was extended longer and went higher, but it is still the same old basic shape.

    The mojo slowed down and the show treaded water and now, after a crazy long, big run by modern TV standards, its finally starting to decline. That’s it IMO.

  • itsalleternal

    I don’t think the NCAA had much impact, since it had really low ratings for a primetime network TV sporting event.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think The Voice had that much impact. It was mostly The X factor. There have been many singing shows on when idol was-Nashville star, rock star supernova, star search, etc. I think the x factor was just too similar.

  • Karen C

    I’m not sure if there’s really a connection or not, but I wonder if there was a ratings decrease after Season 5, if this is contributing to why the record sales of even the highest selling Idols is lower since then. Even the highest selling Idols since then have not seen sales like Daughtry, Carrie and Kelly. Maybe one reason for this is that the ratings decreased since then.

    At the same time, I think the ratings are going down even more the past couple of  years because we aren’t seeing as much originality on the show  that we saw in the previous few years,  especially Season 7 and 8.   I think those seasons brought in a lot of viewers because there was a real buzz about certain contestants that we haven’t seen the past couple of years. 

  • Anonymous

    IMO the ratings going down is inevitable.  The show is old – it’s lost its buzz/edge.  There are copycats that take away Idol’s being special.  There is, due to today’s technology, a wealth of choices beyond what was previously available even a few years ago.  And there are simply just not that many interesting singers/performers around.  Idol is starting to look like a dinosaur – and its viewers – especially the young – are losing interest.

  • breakdown

    Numbers make me dizzy so I won’t get into that but I don’t think the ratings drop should be measured until the NCAA BB tournament is finished on Thursdays. It is huge and crosses many channels and time zones. I also dvr almost everything. Where does that fit in? Does that count as full viewership?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003334810983 Lydia Deetz

    There are more OLD people than young ones that watch the show so themes are catered for this audience. Problem is, I think this just makes the old people depressed as the old songs only reminds them how OLD they are. So they stop watching the show. Teehee!

    Ok, seriously, I’m guessing another reason for the dip in viewership is that viewers aren’t motivated to support the contestants. In the last couple years, they didn’t care to buy the contestants’ albums. Seemed like whatever these AI alums put out weren’t the type of songs the viewers wanted to listen to. So, now, the viewers are thinking what’s the point to get all excited about this season?

  • Karen C

    I don’t think it’s that people aren’t interested in the albums. Even those that have done well with record sales have only sold a fraction of what would be the ratings. 

  • Elliegrll

    There are more OLD people than young ones that watch the show so themes are catered for this audience. Problem is, I think this just makes the old people depressed as the old songs only reminds them how OLD they are. So they stop watching the show. Teehee!
    Ok, seriously, I’m guessing another reason for the dip in viewership is that viewers aren’t motivated to support the contestants. In the last couple years, they didn’t care to buy the contestants’ albums. Seemed like whatever these AI alums put out weren’t the type of songs the viewers wanted to listen to. So, now, the viewers are thinking what’s the point to get all excited about this season?

    I can’t agree with that, since the majority of AI viewers have never cared about buying the music.  Even the most successful AI alums have never come close to selling 20 million or more copies of one album in the US.  There’s a huge difference between the biggest seller, Carrie’s 7 million copies for SH, and the number of people who watched her season.   And considering how long it took Carrie to reach 7 million albums sold, and the success that she has had on radio, not everyone who purchased her album are AI fans.

  • Tess

    If there is a simple answer to why things loose their mojo it would also be simple to fix…but, ha, it isn’t that “simple”.

    Reasons for decline of Idol

    1. It isn’t the New Kid on the Block
    2.  It had a 4th place finisher out perform (post idol) the 3 that were in the finals…that takes away a lot of cred.
    3.  It switched from its Tues/Wed to Wed/Thurs after a half dozen or more seasons.  Almost any show that switches sees a decline because viewers are creatures of habit.
    4.  TV viewing has changed…no more antennas.  Rise of Cable, Satellite, On Demand, Net Flix, Computer streaming, built in DVR, and especially a rise in other reality program directly targeted at the 18 to 30 subset.
    5.  Clone programming everywhere even Idol’s own station…and the one on Fox was horrendously bad and turned off lots of viewers.
    6.  Judge changes and adding 4th judge which really changed the dynamics of the program from focus on contestants to judges.
    7.  Mainstream media coverage slowed down, especially print coverage. 
    8.  Online presents everything on the program hours after actual broadcast.  Why watch when you can see the entire program sans commercials the same night…or watch the streaming East Coast version and forego watching in Mountain or Pacific coast time.
    9.  Lots more, but I’m lazy.

  • Anonymous

    I think that the judges are still not very good, even now that they have decided to judge. They don’t give particularly inghtful comments, and are neither witty, or funny or charismatic.
    The heavyweight judge is Iovine, but his comments feel prepared and he needs to take acting lessons, and of course, he comments after he knows the voting.

    They need a panel with one industry heavyweight, one artist heavyweight plus the likeable nice guy/girl. Steven can be Mr Niceguy, the other two have to go. Iovine should be on the panel, but of course he will have to demonstate his ability to give to-the-point feedback live.
    And they need to replace J-Lo with someone more knowledgeable, articulate and charismatic.

  • http://twitter.com/shoriagirl Nina Korol

    I don’t think that contestants success as recording artist has anything to do with the show ratings.  The Voice contestants have sold much less albums than any Idol alum, however, the ratings are up. 

    Sales post Idol depend on the promotion and nothing else. Daughtry got more promotion than any other contestant from his season, so he sold the most. Same goes for Lambert or Cook.  Promotion = sales.

    As far as Idol, it was always a horrible show, but it was unique, so people watched it.  Now it has competition and people choose other shows over Idol, especially younger people who are not set in their ways and didn’t make watching Idol a part of their routine.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DKSIJKM5MSRHIOAPEEDJXMI2HY Kcvampire

     The only reason why Basketball wasn’t higher. There were 4 channels showing it and CBS didn’t show the marquee games.