'American Idol' Season 13 Debut Hits Another Premiere Low (Updated)

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

January 16th, 2014


On FOX the 13th season premiere of American Idol earned a 4.6 4.7 adults 18-49 rating, with 15 million viewers overall  which is the lowest premiere rating since the show's first summer season.Last year's season premiere earned a 6.0 adults 18-49 rating.  The premiere was up 31% from last season's finale which earned a 3.6 adults 18-49 rating. This is the first time American Idol has come back higher than its most recent finale since Season 10 (2011)

This is the first time American Idol has premiered lower than NBC’s fall cycle of The Voice, which debuted to a 5.1 adult demo rating last year.


  • Scott

    Predicted a 4.6 to 5.5, hoping for a higher number still. FOX must be upset and even a little surprised.

    Problem is, the changes that are happening now (season 13) should have happened last year, if not three years ago.


    This was expected. U tell me know how many shows in year 13 are pulling these numbers. I think word of mouth could make it rise and go up.

  • j

    Simon Cowell is American Idol. And when Simon left, AI began its downward spiral. Even with J LO’s 2nd tour of duty, Keith Urban the only holdover from last season and Harry Connick jr’s (he’s no Simon) arrival, AI will continue is slow decline with the rise of The Voice taking most of Idol’s swagger away from them!

  • Fred


    Well written.

    May I add that music sales have declined substantially since artists like Clarkson and Underwood became superstars .
    Chris Daughtry is my favorite contestant on Idol.
    And he only managed 4th place. Happy to see his band still rocking .

  • Jagger Dagger

    If you put all the winners of these shows (Idol, Voice, X-factor, America’s Got Talant, etc) what is the track record for the winners of these karaoke shows becoming pop stars? Off hand I can only think of Clarkson and Underwood having any real big success in the industry.

  • Rob R

    A 4.6 rating for a 13 year old show in 2014 is nothing to dismiss. American Idol, realtive to the rest of television, is still a juggernaut, and the premiere dwarfed the finale last month for “The Voice.” The judging panel last night was fantastic. The Voice has already begun its slow decline, although both shows have a lot of life left in them. The X Factor is the show in trouble.

  • HalCapone

    The problem is the singing show concept itself is tired. Furthermore, the audience for Idol has aged; the median age as of last year was 51 which puts this in Bones company, making it one of FOX’ oldest skewing programs. I suspect The Voice will catch up to Idol’s nearly dead demo in the not so distant future, too. The novelty of these incredibly cheesy and manipulative singing competition shows has disappeared entirely and consequently none of the current crop of winners since the salad days of Idol ever amount to anything (and The Voice has yet to produce any “star”) unless appearances at openings for new car dealers is considered success. Idol probably has one or two more years left in its gas tank, along with the equally tired The Voice. No amount of judge changes, format changes, big red spinning vinyl chair changes will slow the demise of all these singing competitions. It can’t come fast enough for my taste. The only salvation for fans is these shows might pop up as specials or limited run filler shows.

  • Cam

    I was pleasantly surprised by American Idol, the judges have great chemistry and I will tune in again. American Idol actually beat The Voice in viewers, American Idol premiered to 14.99 (probably over 15 million with adjustments). The Voice premiered to 14.98 last year. American Idol is in its 13th season and still beating new shows that aren’t even half as old. Plus American Idol is the only talent show to produce stars and sell records, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Phillip Phillips etc. The Voice has yet to have any one even sell gold status, which is embarrassing.

  • Pants on Fire

    I hated last season and all of the uncomfortable drama with the judges and stopped watching before the show began. I watched the premier last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. No drama, good chemistry, contestant focused and plenty of production changes. I think it will rise significantly and surprise all of the negative nancies who always complain.

  • CookyMonzta

    4.6. Just as I predicted. Now, the question becomes, how many shows before it falls out of the 4s? If the show doesn’t pick up quickly, it could fall out of the 4s before the end of January. It was the 5th episode last year (1/30) before it fell out of the 5s, and the 11th episode (2/20) before it fell out of the 4s. It hit the 2s for the first time in its 21st episode (3/21). If the people start to lose interest like last year, it could hit the 2s even earlier.

    On top of that, in the last 2 seasons the show lost as much as 35% (give or take) over the course of each season. If that pattern repeats itself this year, we could see the show draw as few as 9.7 million viewers for at least one episode.

  • AllOfHerTw!st

    Chris Daughtry is my favorite contestant on Idol

    Daughtry is the only Idol artist I’ve ever heard on the radio stations I regularly listed to.

  • AllOfHerTw!st


  • Jo

    Wasn’t bad but without a DVR there’s no way I could watch.


    Everyone, including executives at FOX, we’re expecting a decline. The difference between last and this year, is the good chemistry and “feel good” type show now. The show should be up during live shows compared to last year.

  • Just Facts

    But you predicted a 5.5 TVMAN and it’s not even close. You’re a bout a full point off.


    Proves people were interested in this year when premiere was UP from finale like season 10… Also in season 10, it premiered down from season 9, but then during live shows it gained traction and was UP compare to season 9 live shows. I believe same thing will happen this season…

  • Just Facts

    I’m really dissapointed about last night. It should be about the talent, but they did more to promote Harry than the contestants. Might as well call it Boricua JLO instead of American Idol.

    JLO and Nicki Minaj to judge singers for their talent. Really Idol? Pff

  • rick

    Idol already looks better than last year’s version. It set the template for all the other meaningless contest shows. Will Idol grow from here?

  • Just Facts

    You also thought it will do a 5.5 TVMAN. Just give up no matter how you’re trying to spin it, Idol will have its lowest rated season ever. The Olympics will make sure of that and increased competition from Big Bang Theory, the one show that keeps rising.

  • Eve


    Cassadee Pope, The Voice 3rd Champion, has a platinum certified single…

    Now, I said I would laugh hard if it premiered lower than The Voice, but I think it’s safe to wait until the finals.

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