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This was not the news Fox wanted to hear. Even after bringing in Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey, American Idol’s 12th season started lower than last year. Still, the show did help Fox win Wednesday night.
Idol kicked off with a 6.0 18-49 rating and 17.9 million viewers, a 19 percent drop from last season’s start. Entertainment Weekly notes that this continues the downward trend that started back in 2009, when the show’s age began to show against other reality shows. Last year dropped a stunning 24 percent from the season before, since Fox had The X Factor in the fall. This year, Idol not only follows The X Factor again, but it will have to compete with another season of NBC’s The Voice.
As for the battle between the rest of the networks, CBS came in second with an average of 10.67 million viewers on the night and a 2.1 18-49 rating, reports HitFix. Following an NCIS repeat (8.375 million viewers), Criminal Minds had 12.53 million viewers and a 2.8 18-49 rating. CSI capped off the night with 11.1 million viewers and a 2.3 18-49 rating.
ABC followed with 7.47 million viewers, although it finished just ahead of CBS in ratings with a 2.5 18-49 rating. The Middle had 8.2 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating, while The Neighbors had 6.17 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating. Modern Family had a decent night with just over 11 million viewers and a 4.3 18-49 rating. Despite featuring the family’s new baby, that was down 9 percent, notes Deadline. Suburgatory came in with 6.35 million viewers and a 2.4 rating, while Nashville had 6.54 million and a 2.2 key demo rating.
NBC had a rough night with just 2.89 million viewers and a 0.8 18-49 rating, which was actually lower than the CW. Whitney and Guys With Kids averaged just 2,5 million viewers and a 0.8 18-49 rating, while Law & Order: SVU had just 2.73 million viewers and a 0.6 18-49 rating.
The CW’s Arrow (3.13 million) and Supernatural (2.07 million) had an average of 2.6 million viewers and a 1.0 18-49 rating.