powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes


Higher & Higher: American Idol again outdoes itself

Tuesday's two-hour, sixth season premiere of Fox's American Idol again soared to new heights, even if many of the night's auditioners didn't.

Idol drew 37.4 million viewers nationally, beating the previous record of 35.5 million for last January's opener. The show also drew more advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds than any Fox program other than the Feb. 17, 2003 finale of Joe Millionaire.

Competing programs on NBC, ABC and CBS drew a combined 30.4 million viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. central time. Idol also drew 78 percent more 18-to-49-year-olds than those three networks.

After Idol subsided, NBC won the 9 to 10 p.m. time slot with a mere mortal 14.1 million viewers for Law & Order: SVU. Yes, that's an astonishing 23.2 million fewer viewers than Idol had.

"I think it's fading. I think it's over," NBC entertainment president Kevin Reilly joked Wednesday when asked about Idol's latest all-powerful showing.

Yet another increase in viewership is "distressing," he acknowledged. "Nothing burns that bright forever. There'll be a day when it will just be incredibly uncool to watch that show. Kids will come home and say, 'Oh dad, you're out of it. There's no way we're watching that with you'."

"When that will happen, I don't know."