Re­vamped ‘Amer­i­can Idol’ reaches more than 10 mil­lion

Manteca Bulletin - - Nation -

NEW YORK (AP) — The re­vamped “Amer­i­can Idol” had a strong de­but on ABC, reach­ing more than 10 mil­lion view­ers and shrug­ging off Fox’s at­tempt to blunt the premiere’s im­pact with its spe­cial on O.J. Simp­son.

The Nielsen com­pany said Mon­day that the 10.34 mil­lion who watched the re­turn of “Amer­i­can Idol” rep­re­sented ABC’s big­gest Sun­day night au­di­ence with reg­u­lar se­ries pro­gram­ming since 2012.

Fox’s pre­sen­ta­tion of a 2006 Simp­son in­ter­view, dur­ing which he spec­u­lated about how he might have killed his for­mer wife, was watched by 4.4 mil­lion peo­ple. That was a dis­tant echo of the sen­sa­tional in­ter­est the Simp­son case drew two decades ago.

There was bad blood when Fox ended “Amer­i­can Idol” two years ago, with pro­duc­ers want­ing to con­tinue the show. Sched­ul­ing the Simp­son spe­cial at the same time as the “Amer­i­can Idol” de­but was widely seen as Fox’s at­tempt to pre­vent its for­mer head­lin­ing se­ries from get­ting off to a fast start for ABC.

The “Idol” open­ing num­bers were bet­ter than all but two of the tele­casts dur­ing Fox’s fi­nal sea­son of the show, in­clud­ing the Jan. 6, 2016 sea­son opener, which was seen by 11 mil­lion peo­ple, Nielsen said. The av­er­age view­er­ship for Fox’s fi­nal sea­son was 9.4 mil­lion view­ers.

“Idol” was a sen­sa­tion in the 2000s for Fox, cre­at­ing stars and draw­ing view­er­ship num­bers that tele­vi­sion net­works can only dream of these days. One of the stars launched by “Idol,” Kelly Clark­son, is now a pan­elist on NBC’s “The Voice.” That music com­pe­ti­tion show be­gan its new sea­son last month with an episode viewed by 12.3 mil­lion peo­ple.

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