My Season 6 ratings chart is complete. As predicted, the final Nielsen numbers for Wednesday’s finale were adjusted upward to include the 9 minutes the show ran after the 10 pm hour. According to Variety, “Ratings peaked in the final nine minutes…with a 36 share in 18-49 and about 39.2 million viewers overall.” The average ratings for the night were 30.7 million viewers and an 11.5 rating/31 share in adults 18-49, down 15% from Season 5’s finale ratings of 36.3 million viewers with a 14.2 rating/35 share in the key demo.
25.3 million viewers (3.7/12 share) tuned in for Tuesday’s Final 2 show, down 21% from Season 5’s Final, which had 32 million viewers and a 12.3/34 share.
It’s interesting to note that Season 6 started with 37.4 million viewers for it’s Minneapolis Auditions premiere, the highest ratings ever clocked for an Idol episode. According to the Hollywood Reporter back in January, The first five episodes of Season 6 were up 10% over the first five Season 5 telecasts in overall viewership.
When I first reported declines in early March, the mainstream media blamed them on Daylight Savings Time starting 3 weeks earlier. But, the high ratings early on followed by precipitous drops, indicated that something else was going on. What went wrong? That answer is an entirely different post. Let’s just say, TPTB needs to bring the focus back on what makes the show irresistable TV–the kids–their backstories and their struggle to advance in the competition.
Nevertheless, American Idol pulled in huge numbers by any standards. Wednesday’s edition came in as the #1 show of the season with Tuesday’s edition following at #2.
Fox won the season, thanks to Idol. According to Variety, “Fox ended up winning the season by the largest margin of any net in five seasons, with its 4.0 rating among adults 18-49 topping CBS (3.7) by 8%, according to Nielsen.”