TV & Radio

May 25, 2012

Idol falls for Fox in America

Americans turned off the finale of American Idol in their droves on Wednesday night, according to early Nielsen ratings. The once mega juggernaut's 11th finale had its smallest every audience of 21.5 million.

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

Americans turned off the finale of American Idol in their droves on Wednesday night, according to early Nielsen ratings. The once mega juggernaut’s 11th finale had its smallest every audience of 21.5 million. That compares with more than 30 million viewers in 2006 and especially 2007, when it peaked at a huge 37.3 million viewers. It’s a fall of around 43% over the last five years. The program has suffered the loss of key judge Simon Cowell, who left in 2010 to concentrate on the X Factor.

The Voice has made a dent in Idol‘s US ratings and audience figures and has taken viewers in the 18 to 49 group, especially female and teenage viewers. The Voice‘s finale earlier this month on NBC averaged 11.6 million viewers, up 5% from the previous year. But US analysts point out that that was actually a poor outcome because the 2011 finale aired out of ratings in June when TV use is lower (by a third on some nights, as we find in Australia in January). Because more sets are in use in early may, the audience should have been much higher.

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