UPDATE: American Idol was adjusted up to a 6.4 adults 18-49 rating in the finals, making the drop from last year 30%. It is still the lowest-rated Idol finale by a wide margin. Also adjusted up by a tenth in the final ratings are ABC’s Modern Family (4.1/11) and Law & Order: SVU (2.0/5), while Don’t Trust The B— was adjusted down to a 2.4/6.
PREVIOUS: Given that American Idol had been tracking 30% lower than last season, this is not a surprise, but last night’s finale from 8-10:07 PM delivered a preliminary 6.1/18 among adults 18-49. It is projected to go up to a 6.3 rating in the finals, which would still be down 32% from last season’s finale to post the veteran reality series’ lowest-rated closer ever — including the first cycle, which aired in the summer. In total viewers, Idol drew 21.5 million, according to Fox projections, also an all-time low for an Idol finale. The steep year-to-year declines follow a rise for last season’s finale, the first with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as judges, vs. 2010. Compared with last week, Idol was up 43%. Compared with The Voice‘s Season 2 finale, Idol was higher by 43% in 18-49. Fox won Wednesday night in adults 18-49, total viewers and all other key demos. (Below is a tracker of the American Idol finales’ total viewer and 18-49 results).
Also airing season finales last night were ABC and NBC. The season ender of The Middle (2.0/7) was up 5% from last week but down 5% from last year’s finale. Modern Family (4.0/11) was up a tenth from last week and down a tenth from the fast national for last year’s finale, which also aired against the final Idol show. The season finale of Don’t Trust The B—- (2.5/7) was up 32% from last week, the Revenge closer (2.4/6) was up 20%. NBC’s Off Their Rockers finale (1.5/5) was up 7% from last week, Law & Order: SVU‘s (1.9/5) was up 12% but down 34% from last season’s finale.
American Idol Ratings
WEDNESDAY-09/04/2002 8:00 PM-10:00 PM 23.021 million 10.8/30
WEDNESDAY-05/21/2003 9:00 PM-10:00 PM 38.060 million 16.8/37
WEDNESDAY-05/26/2004 8:00 PM-10:02 PM 28.839 million 12.0/32
WEDNESDAY-05/25/2005 8:00 PM-10:01 PM 30.269 million 12.5/31
WEDNESDAY-05/24/2006 8:00 PM-10:04 PM 36.383 million 14.2/36
WEDNESDAY-05/23/2007 8:00 PM-10:09 PM 30.755 million 11.5/31
WEDNESDAY-05/21/2008 8:00 PM-10:06 PM 31.688 million 11.4/30
WEDNESDAY-05/20/2009 8:00 PM-10:07 PM 28.838 million 10.0/28
WEDNESDAY-05/26/2010 8:00 PM-10:07 PM 24.215 million 8.2/24
WEDNESDAY-05/25/2011 8:00 PM-10:07 PM 29.288 million 9.2/26
WEDNESDAY-05/23/2012 8:00 PM-10:07 PM 21.5 million 6.4/19