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TV Ratings: ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Revival Debuts Solid With 10.3 Million Viewers

ABC’s revival of “American Idol” was easily the top show of Sunday night according to Nielsen overnight data, even if it did not top Fox’s version of the show.

Airing at 8 p.m. on ABC, “American Idol” drew a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49 ad 10.3 million viewers. For context, the final Fox season premiere of “American Idol” in 2016 drew a 3.0 rating and 10.96 million viewers, meaning the ABC premiere was down approximately 23% in the demo and 6% in total viewers from the last Fox season. However, the ABC premiere is on par with the average ratings of the last Fox season, with the final season’s Wednesday show averaging a 2.3 and 9.4 million viewers and the Thursday show averaging a 2.2 and 9.1 million viewers in Live+Same Day. ABC’s version also helped the network deliver its most-watched Sunday night in over five years.

ABC’s “American Idol” came nowhere near the highest-rated Fox “Idol” season premiere, which occurred in 2007 with Season 6’s opener nabbing a 15.8 rating and 37.4 million, though to be fair there was virtually no chance that ABC’s version of the music competition series was going to come anywhere near the ratings the Fox version achieved in its heyday.

Earlier on ABC, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” improved with a 1.1 rating and 6 million viewers. The series premiere of ABC’s FBI magician drama “Deception” was also solid at 10, drawing a 1.3 and 6.1 million viewers.

On Fox, the first ever airing of the 2006 special “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” drew a 1.2 and 4.4 million viewers. While those results are respectable, the network’s Sunday comedy lineup usually draws comparable numbers. Prior to the O.J. Simpson special, a new episode of “Bob’s Burgers” drew a 0.7 and 1.8 million.

For NBC, the special “American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. the World”  drew a 0.8 and 3.6 million viewers. That lead-in did little to boost the second season premiere of “Timeless,” which opened to a 0.8 and 2.96 million viewers, down over 50 percent in both measures from its first season premiere back in October 2016.

CBS aired back-to-back episodes of “60 Minutes” at 7 and 8. The 7 p.m. episode drew a 0.9 and 9.2 million viewers. The 8 p.m. episode drew a 0.9 and 8.5 million. “NCIS: Los Angeles” was down from last week with a 0.9 and 7.99 million viewers. “Madam Secretary” was also down with a 0.6 and 6.3 million viewers.

ABC won the night with a 1.7 rating and 8.2 million viewers. Fox was second in the demo with a 1.0 but third in viewers with 3.5 million. NBC and CBS tied for third in the demo with a 0.8 each. CBS was second in viewers with 8 million. NBC was fourth in viewers with 3.4 million.

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