This past week has produced the finale of many shows on television. Having been so involved with the finale of Celebrity Apprentice, I forgot about the finale of American Idol…and it looks like I wasn’t the only one who forgot to watch.
The two-hour season finale of Fox’s “American Idol” was the least watched finale in the show’s history with a smaller audience than even Season 1’s finale — which aired in the summer.
It was reported that 21.5-million people tuned in to see Phillip Phillips get voted the winner of the 11th season finale of the singing competition. The show was featured many well-known musical stars, including John Fogerty, Reba McEntire and Rhianna. The show also featured a performance by Steven Tyler who performed with his band Aerosmith.
Those numbers represent a 26% drop from last season’s finale, which had an audience of almost 30 million. In its first season, which was during the summer of 2002, the finale of “American Idol” averaged 23 million viewers. The first season show that crowned Kelly Clarkson the title of American Idol aired in early September when television watching is lower than the late spring.
Season two posted the highest numbers of all, with a 16.8/37 Nielson rating and 38 million viewers. This decline has culminated in a 6.3/19 this past season with 21.5 million viewers. The first number in the Nielson rating represents the percentage of TVs tuned to that station. The second number represents the percentage of people watching TV at that time who are tuned to that program.
According to Joe Flint at the Los Angeles Times:
While Wednesday’s ratings clearly indicate “American idol” is showing its age, the show is still a massive hit, with tremendous staying power for its age.
On the business side, “American Idol” is still a cash cow for the network. Fox executives have promised to fine-tune “American Idol” in the off-season. The show also has to figure out whether Jennifer Lopez will return as a judge.
The following list from Deadline Hollywood lists each season and the numbers
WEDNESDAY-09/04/2002 8:00 PM-10:00 PM 23.021 million –Kelly Clarkson
WEDNESDAY-05/21/2003 9:00 PM-10:00 PM 38.060 million – Ruben Studdard
WEDNESDAY-05/26/2004 8:00 PM-10:02 PM 28.839 million – Fantasia Barrino
WEDNESDAY-05/25/2005 8:00 PM-10:01 PM 30.269 million – Carrie Underwood
WEDNESDAY-05/24/2006 8:00 PM-10:04 PM 36.383 million – Taylor Hicks
WEDNESDAY-05/23/2007 8:00 PM-10:09 PM 30.755 million –Jordin Sparks
WEDNESDAY-05/21/2008 8:00 PM-10:06 PM 31.688 million – David Cook
WEDNESDAY-05/20/2009 8:00 PM-10:07 PM 28.838 million – Kris Allen
WEDNESDAY-05/26/2010 8:00 PM-10:07 PM 24.215 million – Lee DeWyze
WEDNESDAY-05/25/2011 8:00 PM-10:07 PM 29.288 million – Scotty McCreery
WEDNESDAY-05/23/2012 8:00 PM-10:07 PM 21.5 million – Phillip Phillips
Although I do not watch American Idol anymore, I do appreciate the show because it introduced Clay Aiken to the world. To me, he will always be a winner.
The following is one of Clay’s performances from the finale of Season Two. Nobody has even come close to performing so well on the show.
Did you watch American Idol this year?