Primetime Ratings: 'Idol' Finale Dips in Viewers, Remains Dominant in Ratings

Posted at 12:59 p.m. ET

Kris Allen's American Idol victory in Wednesday night's season finale attracted 27.7 million viewers, according to fast nationals. The number was down from the 31.7 million that tuned in to last year's finale. Still, the show's 9.5/27 rating gave Fox a dominant primetime win.

The viewer total was the lowest for an Idol finale since its first season. That comes on the heels of Tuesday's final performance show, which was also the least-watched since season one. 

In the first hour, Idol delivered an 8.1/26 followed by CBS at 1.6/5 with The New Adventures of Old Christine (1.6/5) at 8 and Gary Unmarried (1.7/5) at 8:30. ABC and NBC finished in a third place tie at 1.0/3. ABC aired Pirates of the Caribbean 2 while NBC countered with Law & Order: Criminal Intent and the beginning of a Law & Order: SVU re-run.

The first hour of the movie Take the Lead came in at 0.4/1 on the CW.

The last half-hour (9:30-10) of Idol attracted 32.5 million viewers and an 11.5/29 rating. CBS came in second at 9 for the hour, following far behind Idol’s, with a 3.1/8 and 12.4 million viewers for the first hour of the Criminal Minds season finale. The second hour of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 came in at 1.1/3. NBC was fourth at 1.0/3 for a Law & Order: SVU re-run. The CW was fifth with the second hour of Take the Lead pulling a 0.5/1.

The final hour of Criminal Minds earned a 3.8/10 and 15.1 million viewers, the highest-rated and most-watched non-Idol hour of the night. NBC moved up to second with Law & Order delivering a 1.9/5. The last hour of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 earned a 1.3/4 for ABC.

For the night, Fox’s 9.5/27 and 27.7 million viewers, was more than double second place CBS’s total of 11 million viewers and a 2.8/8 rating. NBC was next at 1.3/4. ABC finished with a 1.2/3. The CW was fifth at 0.4/1.