"American Idol" ratings fell last night to 16.19 million and a 5.6 18-49 rating. That's a relatively modest drop, though from opening night compared to recent years when drop-offs were twice as large.
A year ago, "Idol" lost nearly 4 million viewers from opening night to night two. This year, the drop-off was 1.7 million viewers and only 1.8 million viewers behind the 18.02 million who caught night two in 2012. But the 18-49 numbers were about the same (5.7)
For Fox executives who can't be all that thrilled with the numbers in general, this is mild solace. In other words, viewers who caught the new judges' panel liked them enough to stick around more than a second helping of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler a year ago.
Then again, CBS was airing repeats last night of its strong Thursday night lineup. which includes "The Big Bang Theory." That sitcom is now more popular than "Idol."
The final numbers for opening night were 17.93 million and a 6.0 18-49 rating, not appreciably different from the preliminary numbers.
Last year, the first time "Idol" hit less than 16.19 million viewers was Feb. 22, or week six.
And how about this for perspective. In 2007, season 6 (Jordin Sparks' year) second night ratings were 36.9 million with a 15.5 rating 18-49. That's more than double last night's numbers among all viewers and triple among younger viewers.
This Lazaro Arbos' emotional performance last night, if you missed it: