Idol Gives Back Tops Wednesday Night

Via Mediaweek:

-Ratings Breakdown:
Fox led the Wednesday troops, with an expanded edition of American Idol (a combination of telethon “Idol Gives Back” and the live results show) at 18.40 million viewers and a 5.8 rating/17 share among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. Note that the final approximate 20 minutes are not included in the averages. For what it is worth, I think mixing the two does not work and it felt like departed Tim Urban was rushed off the stage. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

LA's Next Great Stage Star II ...
LA's Next Great Stage Star II Finale

Well, I totally agree about poor Tim Urban getting the bum’s rush off the stage! Heh.

Not surprised the ratings were low. The ratings dipped below 20M back in Season 7 too, although the demo was higher (17.8 – 6.8/18)

At a running time of 2 1/2 a half hours and a show that moved at a glacial pace, it’s no wonder many viewers tuned it out.

American Idol: Idol Gives Back (Fox)
8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 15.73 million (#1), A18-49: 5.0/16 (#1)
8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 18.46 million (#1), A18-49: 5.9/17 (#1)
9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 19.58 million (#1), A18-49: 6.1/17 (#1)
9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 19.83 million (#1), A18-49: 6.1/16 (#1)

About mj santilli 33693 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. I didn’t enjoy the show very much…I like the concept of Idol gives back, but I think that it would be more meaningful for the idols themselves to be the one’s to travel and bring back the footage of those Idol gives back is helping.

    I think that Idol did a great in-justice to Tim, No sing out?

  2. I think it’s a very good result for IGB, as you mentioned the ratings were very low in season 7 and it’s hard to keep an audience for 2h20 minutes.
    The fact that the audience increased during the program suggests that most people were happy enough not to turn the TV off or change the channel.
    It helps that most of the best acts (Carrie, Annie, Elton and MJ) were kept for the second half of the show.

  3. This was my first year actually watching Idol Gives Back, and I’ve been watching since season 1! I think I always thought it would be kind of a mess to watch Idol with their Hollywood mentality shallowly talk about people suffering. (I was both wrong and right, IMO)

    I think it’s great that the audience grew for the second hour (I would have been sad if it had decreased). Besides, I think the first hour was kind of rough viewing with the wild shifts in tone between terrible comedy sketches and the pitchiest vocal performances of the night.

    Nice that the better second hour got the most viewers. :)

  4. Tim sure did get a bum rap. He barely even got to say a word either. He might not have been everyone’s fav contestant but he deserved the same courtesy as any other eliminated contestant in getting to sing out and make a few comments. Pfft on you AI. It wasn’t his fault you couldn’t keep the show on time. What difference would another couple of minutes made?

  5. I was really moved during the Annie Lennox part, I also pricked up when David Cook’s section was on. I was o.k. with the pieces done by the judges and other idols. I FFWD through the BEPs, ugh!
    why did they go 20 over? really for what. They were not “sold” out in Pasadena, my friend wanted me to go, it’s only 1 h away from where I live, I declined, cuz I cannot FFWD during a live show – LOL

  6. I think most people just aren’t that interested in IGB, and the show was really rather poorly produced. The IGB show was the lowest rated one on Season 7, the one this year even beats it. One difference is that the result show and IGB were separate on Season 7, and more people watched the result show.

    This IGB special didn’t feel special, and the guests aren’t that interesting to me, I wouldn’t have watched it if I wasn’t interested in the result. They should have better guests, better production value, and more interesting segment/features, otherwise it just feels like an unnecessarily and tediously extended result show.

  7. The first half hour of ratings dragged the average down. People knew that there’d be no results in the 1st hour. I’d say it’s impressive they got higher ratings for IGB than in S7 but it’s probably because people were expecting results. Pretty good ratings I’d say and hopefully they were able to raise lots of money and awareness too.

    I wonder if the last 20 minutes of ratings would’ve helped the average. This is a week where the finals from Nielsen could make a difference.

  8. Other than being a little long, and most of the performers sounding like bunk it was pretty much what you would expect from a “two” hour fundraising, Hollywood type of show.

    The good thing is hopefully it brought awareness to important issues. I think it did a really great job of doing that. The show also raised a ton of money for those causes.

    So I’d say it was pretty successful…. even though it was full of things we can crab about (live singers sounding like bunk, running overtime) but who cares. In the end the point of last night was to give back and it seems like that was accomplished. (Oh… and to send Tim Urban home. I’m kind of going to miss that little trainwreck :-) )

  9. Joyed,

    “I think I always thought it would be kind of a mess to watch Idol with their Hollywood mentality shallowly talk about people suffering. (I was both wrong and right, IMO)”

    Yep, This!!!

    I kept thinking that Bill Gates could have bought everyone in Africa a mesquito net, each of these celeberties could have wrote a check and removed the person they were interviewing out of poverty! Still would make more sense to allow the idols to do these visits!

  10. I’m not one bit surprised the ratings were that low. Yep, Tim deserved a singout.

  11. I am going to miss TImmy so much.
    He´s been improving so much and Aaron deserved to go before him.
    I am going to sound corny but I don´t care. For me, TIm is an inspiration. No matter what anyone says Tim never gave up even with all the negative attention. He always had a positive and fighter attitude that I admire.
    I really hope he can achieve some success in show biz. He certainly has the whole teen idol thing down to pat.
    I am at least glad he had two impressive performances like “All My Loving” and ” Can´t Help Falling in Love” and showed America while he was there.
    I will miss you Timmy! Good luck with everything. You deserve all the success in the world.

  12. I personally don’t think you have anything to worry about with Tim. People will be beating down his door…for many reasons. My guess is that he has already been given offers. I wish him the best.

  13. I was relieved when Timmy didn’t have to do a singout, but I agree that its defintely not fair to him. He could have a long career as a model for Ralph Lauren (you know, on those sailboats off Nantucket where everyone is beautiful).

    As for the show, there were some tender, poignant moments, but I kept thinking about all the sickenly rich folks putting the show on, the way overpaid judges, actors, singers were asking for money, and how their money could have bought those 10 more doctor mobiles that were needed. Heck, Simon could have donated his salary for the year, and probably beat the amount of money that they gleaned from the evening.

  14. I am actually amazed that the ratings beat season 7. I know that season 7 averaged much higher ratings and that Idol Gives Back was a very low anomaly, so I was expecting like 12 million viewers

  15. I am not sure what was on at 8pm but it seems as if the show picked up viewers as it went along. Now the last hour or so was the best part of the show I believe. It started getting better with Carrie Underwood. I liked the David Cook and Annie Lennox clips of Africa the best. They were both hopeful and showed that with the right programs things could change and they did not come on until after 9:30. The rest of the clips were very good but David’s and Annie’s were special. I did not like all of the performances, I thought Carrie’s, Annie’s and Elton’s were top. And they should have let David sing. : )

    ETA: Bill and Melinda gates give a lot of money to charity. Their charity is primarily financed by their own money. As far as the other stars I really don’t know enough to comment except David Cook is involved in a brain Cancer charity. But the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation gave computers to the HS my children attended. I am not as jaded as some but I think there are stars with big hearts.

  16. First, a smartly produced program would have had Lennox, Cook, Yamin, and Elton John. And been over in 1.75 hours with 15 minutes left for a quick Tim boot, goodbye package and smiley out of tune singout.
    Second,the last few years of Idol have not had any smart production. The shows drag, then speed up and eventually run over. Camera angles are terrible. The mikes last year were so hot you could get burned. Don’t even get me started on the swaybots….

  17. Ryan did say that he and the judges donated their salary for the day to IGB. I believe I read that Simon donated a big chunk to the last one too. The country singers sure know how to give. Every one of them has at least one charity they actively support and they all jointly support the Childrens Hospital in Nashville thats part of St Jude. Also, Home Depot teams up with one country singer each year, chosen for their personal charitable works, to build a playground for children wherever the singer chooses.

  18. Second,the last few years of Idol have not had any smart production. The shows drag, then speed up and eventually run over. Camera angles are terrible. The mikes last year were so hot you could get burned. Don’t even get me started on the swaybots….

    So true! And, whoever is in charge of the group numbers should be fired. A live singing contest and they use lip syncing! How lazy of the producers. Elementary school productions do a better job in choreographing and movement around the stage. It is not that hard to have these contestants sing live and move around a bit. But, what they have been instructed to perform like is a joke. To me, it is very insulting to the audience to put so little effort into these productions and imagine how lame it is for the singers. Do the producers seriously not know how bad these performances come across to the audience? I would much prefer they stand still(ish) and sing, than move around awkwardly AND lip sync too!

  19. And, whoever is in charge of the group numbers should be fired. A live singing contest and they use lip syncing! How lazy of the producers.

    I thought for sure they would have the finalists singing live. This change brought on last year makes a farce out of a singing competition. I hope they sing live on the Finale.

    I also hoped that Simon bought a new trailer for that family with the 5 children. A two bedroom trailer for five children is ridiculous. It just seems they could help more than they do.

    Overall, the program had several good moments but wasn’t managed well.

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