FOX downplays ‘American Idol’s lowest ratings since Season 1

Judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, from left, star on "American Idol."

“American Idol” is showing its age.

The singing competition opened Season 11 on Wednesday with a 17 percent decline in audience compared to last year’s premiere, according to preliminary ratings. The reality show still managed to pull in 21.9 million total viewers, easily the most of any program that night. But the drop marked the series’ lowest premiere since its first season during the summer of 2002. (At its peak, in 2007, “Idol” opened to 37.4 million viewers.)

Fox’s president of entertainment, Kevin Reilly, predicted that “Idol” would lose ratings when he met with reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., last week. “I expect ‘Idol’ will be down this season, but mostly due to the fact it’s going to be an 11 year old show,” he said. “It’s going to be a natural life cycle for that show.”

Other factors for the decline in interest may be attributed to the lack of changes to talent and format this season. Last year, new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez no doubt attracted some viewers out of sheer curiosity. But with Tyler, Lopez and stalwart judge Randy Jackson returning this season, the show boasts little novelty.

It also faces some stiff competition. Once peerless, “Idol” may meet its match when “The Voice” returns on Feb. 5. The flashy NBC hit could very well steal a portion of the “Idol” audience who only has the time — or patience — for one singing competition this winter. Debuting after the Super Bowl, it may even open stronger than “Idol.”

But none of this means Reilly doesn’t still recognize “Idol” as television gold. “I wouldn’t read into anything immediately on that,” he said of decline. “I think you’ve got to see where the season ends up.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Local

Police warn of attempted assault on woman near…

Police in Cambridge issued an alert after a woman said she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault after leaving Porter Square early Wednesday.…

Local

Kevin Kayvon Edson: Finish line hoax suspect sent…

The man who allegedly left a backpack near the finish line on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings was due in court on Wednesday.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

THEATER The Wholehearted Thursday through April 27 Paramount Center 559 Washington St., Boston $25-$49, 617-824-8400 www.artsemerson.org This conceptually rich show from Stein | Holum Projects,…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Bruins 2014 playoffs preview: Vegas odds say Stanley…

Bruins 2014 playoffs preview: Vegas odds say Stanley Cup will return to Boston

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

MLB

Injury bug tearing holes in Red Sox

Red Sox fans will recall that last year the bullpen was decimated by injuries. From Franklin Morales to Andrew Miller, from Craig Breslow to Andrew…

Wellbeing

Oh baby: Scientists find protein that lets egg…

By Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) - You can forget about the birds and the bees. If you really want to learn how babies are made, you…

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.