Primetime Ratings: ‘Idol’ Opener Down, But Good Enough for Fox Win

American Idol debuted to a 2.9, down 9% from last winter’s season premiere, and the lowest opening night in the show’s 15-year history. Fox still won the night with that 2.9 in viewers 18-49, according to Nielsen overnights, and a 9 share. ABC, with American Crime returning, put up a 1.9/6. NBC had a 1.6/5 and CBS a 1.4/3, while The CW, in repeats, rated a 0.3/1.

Idol featured the return of judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, the usual batch of singing hopefuls good and bad, and an audition from Kanye West himself.

On ABC, The Middle and The Goldbergs returned from break up 5% at 2.1, while Modern Family ticked north 4% to 2.7, and Black-ish leaped 24% to 2.1. American Crime’s season debut rated a 1.2, 20% up from its spring finale.

NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura had a 1.1, flat with its last airing, and Law & Order: SVU was up 29% to 1.8, before Chicago P.D. played to a 1.9, up 36%.

CBS had a new comedy block in 2 Broke Girls, flat with its last airing at 1.7, and Mike & Molly (1.6, down from last spring’s 1.8 finale), then The People’s Choice Awards did a 1.3, off a steep 28% from last year.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.