Season 12 of American Idol, featuring new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban, premiered Wednesday night. While the new judges, namely Mariah and Nicki, gave us bloggers a lot to blog about over the past few months, they failed to increase ratings for the show.
An average of 17.9 million total viewers tuned in to the premiere. That's down 19% compared with last season and a new low for the reality show. The decline among viewers age 18 to 49 – the most sought-after group – was also 19%. In fact, American Idol's ratings have been going down, down, down since 2009.
Mike Darnell, the president of Fox's alternative programming, remains optimistic about American Idol's future. "We beat everybody last night, and we're way ahead of The Voice [season three debuted to 12.3 million viewers]. It’s by far the biggest reality show, [and] I feel like there's a real shot at closing that deficit over the next few weeks.”
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