Last night's American Idol premiered to 29.8 million average viewers and an 11.7 adults 18-49 rating according to preliminary Nielsen numbers.
That's pretty much identical, though down just a touch from last year's preliminary numbers for American Idol's season premiere on January 13, 2009 which averaged 30.1 million and an 11.8 rating with adults 18-49.
This halts a string of consecutive annual double digit percentage losses from Idol's peak in 2007. It could be curiosity over what the show would be like without Paul and with Ellen, knowledge that it's Simon's last season, both or neither...
NCIS remained strong with nearly 21 million viewers opposite American Idol.
Check back in a bit for the full overnight report.