January 17, 2013

The Sked: Idol Returns — Minaj and Carey Not the Answer

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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American Idol returned to the air last night, winning the night handily but continuing the show’s long slide from phenomenon to mere mortal status.  The two-hour premiere last night averaged a 6.0 adult 18-49 rating from 8-10 pm, down 19% from last year’s premiere (7.4 rating) and down 38% from the 2011 premiere (9.7 rating).

Next week will probably drop between half a rating point and a full point, given past patterns for the show.  So Idol could be a 5.4 next week and into the mid- to high-4 rating zone by late February.

 American Idol Wednesday Episode Rating Track (First Six Weeks — Adults 18-49)

2012: 7.4…6.5…6.0…6.1…6.1…5.1

2011: 9.7…9.2…9.0…8.4…8.2…7.9

ABC was a decent second place (2.6 rating from 8-11 pm last night, down only one tenth from last Wednesday despite the increased competition from FOX).The comedies were down slightly from last week, but Nashville was up a tenth to a 2.2 rating, its best rating since the 2.8 premiere.

CBS was a weak third (2.1 rating from 8-11 pm), far below the 2.7 nightly average for most of the fall.  The big difference is 8 pm, which is basically dead until Survivor returns.  (Last night an NCIS repeat at 8 limped to a 1.1 rating,  well under the high-2 rating Survivor averages.)

The CW stepped into fourth place with a 1.0 rating for its solid (for them) lineup of Arrow (1.1) and Supernatural (0.9).

NBC took the night off an averaged a 0.8 rating for an all-repeat line-up.  The 10 pm Chicago Fire repeat in particular (1.0) opened the door for ABC and Nashville to get back above a 2 rating.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.