Wednesday Ratings: American Idol Stays Steady. Down in Double Digits From Last Season

Ratings are in from TVByTheNumbers:

American Idol was steady with a 6.0 adults 18-49 rating and if past history is a guide, will likely be adjusted up a tenth in the final national numbers. Steady is better than down and the 6.0 beat the combined English language broadcast competition at 8pm. But that was still down 28% versus the fourth Wednesday telecast last year which averaged an 8.4 rating with adults 18-49 and 24.1 million viewers, though it’s important to note that was a two hour telecast and the second hour is always higher rated than the 8pm hours in those telecasts.

Here are the numbers across the board:


FOX American Idol 6.0/17 18.94
ABC The Middle 2.6/8 8.48
NBC Whitney 1.5/4 4.07
CBS Person to Person 1.1/3 6.02
CW One Tree Hill 0.7/2 1.29


ABC Suburgatory 2.5/7 7.27
NBC Are You There, Chelsea? 1.5/4 3.68


ABC Modern Family 5.5/14 12.85
CBS Criminal Minds 3.4/9 13.61
FOX Mobbed 3.0/8 8.77
NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams 1.1/3 5.28
CW Remodeled 0.4/1 0.71


ABC Happy Endings 3.0/7 6.90


CBS CSI 2.7/7 11.44
ABC Revenge 2.5/7 7.58
NBC Law & Order: SVU 2.2/6 6.74

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  • Black Swan

    Just a little perspective on the numbers…

    The Voice aired for 2 hours on Monday night and all these reality shows tend to see a huge rise in the ratings in the second hour. Now on Monday night, the 8-9PM (first hour) portion of the voice scored a 5.6 demo with 16.08 million viewers.

    So, head to head (time slot to time slot), American Idol actually did better because it reached nearly 19 million viewers and a 6.0 demo. And that demo could even tick up a tenth of a point in the final numbers that come out later.

    Had IDOL been 2 hours (as it will be next Wednesday night), who knows what the numbers would be. It is very likely that it would overtake the 2 hour numbers for Monday’s The Voice.

  • Tinawina

    I think we’ve established by now that every episode will be 25-30% less than last year for the forseeable future.  I feel like I read the same thing every week! LMAO!

    Anywhoo.. they’re not losing any ground and in fact holding fairly steady on Wednesdays for a few weeks now. I think Idol’s gonna fluctuate between 17-21 million viewers or so (rough estimate) all season except for maybe the finale?

    I also want to see if TBBT will beat them in the demo every Thursday.

  • Anonymous

    Not to be a pessimist, but if it aired 2 hours it could have had the same ratings because it was against Modern Family & Criminal Minds. The Voice’s 2nd hour did well, but the 9PM timeslot doesn’t really have any competition. Wednesday has more competition at 9PM so it’s possible actually that Idol’s ratings would stabilize or decrease.

    I think these are great numbers for Idol. The ratings have dropped from last year, but the ratings have been steady this year so far. I was a little worried because some years there is a drop-off in ratings in Hollywood week. But maybe people wanted to see Hollywood week because the auditions were boring.

  • Black Swan

    That’s very possible. IDOL has to contend with Survivor next week at 8 and Modern Family at 9, so the numbers could suffer. But IDOL usually holds up alright against Survivor so I am not expecting a major fall.

    And yes, The Voice does indeed have an easier time on Monday nights in terms of network competition, which to me, makes IDOL’s numbers look even stronger. JMO though. :)

  • Anonymous

    I’m happy with those numbers.

  • Anonymous

    TBBT will not beat them every Thursday in demo because there are bound to be re-runs for them. Reality shows & talent show competitions have all new shows for the season so as long as they keep having good ratings like Idol it’s possible to beat a sitcom or drama in the season average in total viewers & demo. 

  • Tinawina

    Oh I’m not worried at all about them beating them in season average. That ain’t gonna happen. But I have been entertained by the little battle that’s been going on in that half hour.

    But you are right… besides repeats, what is going to happen when we get to live rounds? At that point AI episodes are harder to skip because if you wanna vote, you need to watch. I bet that peels some eyeballs away from TBBT as well.

  • itsalleternal

    Maybe Idol should always be at 9 instead of 8?

  • Pam

    I’m really interested to see what tonight’s airings of AI (8pm) and the Voice (10pm) will look ratings wise when the numbers come out tomorrow.

    I think part of the problem with this is some of the talent or lack thereof that we’ve seen on the AI auditions leading up to these HW rounds.  It will be interesting to see if the numbers either stay stable, go up, or we see a drastic drop.  It’s good to see that the numbers are at least holding steady for now anyway.

  • Black Swan

    Tonight’s Voice is a repeat, so that won’t matter much.

  • Anonymous

    Just what I expected. Idol had more viewers (18.9M vs 17.8M for Voice) but The Voice had better ratings (6.6 “18-49″ vs 6.0 for Idol). I’m telling y’all. Idol skews older while Voice skews younger. Don’t be surprised if it stays like this for the rest of the season.

  • Pam

    Ok, I see that now. Thanks  I thought it was odd to see it on tonight’s schedule.

    ETA: It looks like the part 3 of the Blind Auditions will be airing this coming Monday.

  • itsalleternal

    Looking at ratings for the whole week, how come there can be huge differences between demo and raw numbers? Like last night with NCIS beating everyone outside the Super Bowl on numbers but not even top 5 on demo…

    Seeing the whole week will be interesting. Although ratings are usually MUCH lower on Friday and Saturday nights…

  • Tinawina

    Has the season long sched for The Voice been released?

    ETA: I think once the season is over, Idol will still probably beat The Voice in the 18-49 demo, though I could see The Voice winning in the 18-34 subset of that.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know yet if we know what the retention rate for The Voice will be.  Once they are done with blind auditions things will be clearer.

  • Black Swan

    Because certain shows (NCIS is a great example) has many viewers but many of them are above the demo 18-49 that the advertisers care about.

    So, the show looks massive due to the audience but many of those people are older. Same can happen for shows with small audience but they end up with a high amount of young viewers- which is why those shows can beat cancellation.

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t they find away to get more SINGING into their 60 minutes… and maybe make the full legnth auditions of the ones that made it through a stage available online?

  • Hazehel

    Maybe Idol should always be at 9 instead of 8?

    As far as Fox goes, it isn’t about just Idol.  Ideally they would want Idol to boost the ratings for the show that follows, and build an audience for that show who might then stay with it.  

  • Anonymous

    I’m actually pretty satisfied with these numbers. The ratings are normally down once we get to Hollywood. So it will actually be up from last week in both viewers and demos.

    It also beat The Voice in total viewers so that makes me happy. :D

  • Leandro

    Idol has loyal viewers and is losing it. The Voice doesn’t have loyal viewers yet but is winning it. If a show can get close to Idol it already proves it’s a very good show, if not much better.

  • Anonymous

    The retention rate for this season is pretty good, so it hasn’t really been losing too many viewers since the premiere. Let’s see where the voice is in it’s 11th season.

  • Anonymous

    It all depends on what shows they are up against. The 7:00 time on Mondays is full of good options, especially for the younger viewers, which The Voice is having some luck with. The 8:00 hour didn’t have as much competition for viewers.

    AI was smart not to have a second hour. They didn’t have much competition during the 7:00 time slot, but they would have gone up against Modern Family and Criminal Minds at 8:00. It would have looked bad if their ratings fell off significantly for the second hour and that is what would have happened.

  • HaleysShindig

    The Voice will fail when it gets into those stupid boxing round segments like it did last year if they don’t change the format. They lost a lot in the ratings when they went through that process. Idol, OTH, is launching into its most interesting parts of the season. 

  • superfudge

    The Voice > Idol. Every day of the week.

  • Kylee

    They will be going back to those rounds this year also, because those are the rounds that Kelly Clarkson will be mentoring.

  • Kylee

    Not in overall viewers!

  • Lovesyesha

    What the voice has going for it, in my opinion is that nothing about it feels very forced or staged. The judges are relaxed and having fun, making for an enjoyable viewing experience. At this point it seems to me that idol is stiff, and x factor seems so staged, so I am voice all the way.

  • Anonymous

    I like The Voice during the blind auditions.  It’s not must see, live tv for me.  I tape and watch at my convenience.  I don’t tape the battle rounds.  It’s just not enjoyable to me.  We will see how it goes this season, maybe they will adjust something.  Even my love for the mentors or Kelly Clarkson could make we watch that unless they tweak it somehow.

    Idols numbers are good for a show that is so long in the tooth.  I guarantee we won’t be even looking at numbers for The Voice in a decade.  It just won’t hold up that well.  This genre will reach it’s saturation point, and if they air this show in the fall as well, they will kill it prematurely themselves.  

  • Pam

    Here is AI’s final ratings adjustment for last night.

    American Idol and Suburgatory were adjusted up a tenth of a point with adults 18-49 vs. Wednesday’s preliminary ratings.

    8:00 FOX American Idol 6.1/17 19.32

  • Anonymous

    I quit watching The Voice last year during the boxing round segments.

  • Anonymous

    I doubt that the producers of The Voice will lose any sleep over being a few points below AI in ratings. They’re already considered a huge success for NBC and they also seem to target a different and younger demographic.  On the other hand, AI has more to lose if the Voice draws better ratings, which is a shame, given that Idol has maintained great ratings for eleven years.  I just don’t see the media spinning this story fairly. 

    Nowadays, I find The Voice a lot more interesting than Idol, especially during the first half. The Voice judges have strong personalities and a terrific camaraderie, which is sorely lacking in Idol and X factor. I even enjoyed the sing-offs, but I wish they would figure out a way to keep the contestants who performed the best duets. Idol tends to be more interesting when the audience starts voting, but that is largely dependent on the contestants. Unless the Voice producers change some of the rules for the 2nd half, they might find themselves losing viewers. 

  • Anonymous

    Not bad!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think that AI has anything to lose if The Voice gets better ratings.  Their egos may be bruised, but AI has been the ratings leader for more consecutive years than any other show in the history of television.  That’s amazing.  So, I don’t think that it hurts idol at all if it is suddenly the second highest rated show on the air.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. They will have to fix the rest of the show. It totally got worse after the blind auditions were over.