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American Idol isn’t doing well in the ratings department.
Ratings declined after Wednesday night’s premiere, nineteen percent lower than last season’s premiere. Only 17.8 million tuned in to watch new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban listen to new contestants.
The feud between Nicki and Mariah can be an excuse to the declining ratings, but Idol is also competing with new singing shows like X Factor and The Voice. Insiders working on the show believe the feud between the judges disengaged fans.
“People wonder if the fight was faked to get people talking about the new season,” one insider at Fox tells E! News. “It was not fake. And when the video came out, there was a lot of concern among Fox execs that there could be impact on the ratings. The judges need to be likable.”
Ratings may be down, but judges appear hopeful for the season.
“I feel like we jell well in a weird, crazy way,” Minaj said of the panel near the end of the premiere.
Fox is banking on that. American Idol lost its status last season as the most-watched TV program for the first time since 2003, overshadowed by NBC’s Sunday Night Football. The 2012 season was the lowest-rated season since its summer 2002 debut, The Spectator reports.