"American Idol" continues to slide in the ratings, despite producers' efforts to spice things up with Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey as judges.
Sure, the judges appear engaged and with Minaj steering the ship, arguably more entertaining. But her nutty, alpha persona may be a turn off for many viewers as well, based on comments on this blog and others.
The show drew 17.8 million viewers last night, according to preliminary ratings. (Based on past years, that number will probably end up closer to 18 million in the end.)
Last year's season 11 debut brought in 21.9 million viewers. That's a 19 percent drop from 2012 and 32 percent lower than 2011 , when 26.2 million viewers checked in.
The 18-49 rating tumbled from 7.4 to 6.0, also down 19 percent. Two years ago, the 18-49 rating was 9.7, down an incredible 38 percent.
"Idol" is no longer the most popular non-sports program. CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" last Thursday drew a series high 20 million viewers and a 6.4 18-49 rating. And "NCIS" is drawing far more viewers, too, with 22.9 million viewers on Tuesday night, one of its best showings in its series history.
This is the lowest debut numbers for an "Idol" season since 2002, when it was a summer replacement series nobody had ever heard of.
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