‘American Idol’ Premiere Is Least-Watched in Show’s History
A moment like this no longer: The 16th season of American Idol — the first episode that has aired on ABC and featured new judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie — is officially the least-watched in the show's history.
Idol, which premiered on Sunday (March 11), drew 10.3 million viewers and a 2.3 rating, down 23 percent in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic and 6 percent overall from the final FOX season's premiere, according to Variety. Still, Variety said viewership is mostly consistent with a typical episode from Season 15, which drew an average 2.3 rating and 9.4 million viewers on Wednesday episodes a 2.2 rating and 9.1 million viewers on Thursdays.
So, does that mean Idol bombed? Not exactly. The premiere helped ABC earn its highest-rated Sunday night in five years, and the network beat competitors by 70 percent, according to Entertainment Weekly. Idol also helped launch the show Deception, which ranked No. 1 in its time slot at 10 PM.
Some wonder if slagging ratings may be the result of controversy surrounding host Ryan Seacrest, who's been accused of sexual assault by stylist Suzie Hardy. Hardy's been claiming for months that Seacrest subjected her to groping and varying degrees of misconduct while she was an E! employee, which Seacrest has vehemently denied.
"I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Singers Who'd Make Great American Idol Judges: