Update: American Idol averaged 30.074 million in the overnight numbers, down just under 10% from last year’s 33.24 million. Bill will post the full night’s details soon…

Per Marc Berman the very earliest indication is that the season premiere of American Idol was off 10% versus last year in the early Nielsen metered market ratings.

-Ratings Breakdown:
Fox’s veteran American Idol is back and it certainly dominated the evening. But year-to-year, the two-hour eighth season-premiere lost some steam with a 16.7 rating/25 share in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. Comparably, that was down by 10 percent from the 18.6/27 on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008. One year prior to that, American Idol kicked-off with a 21.8/31 on Jan. 16, 2007. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

American Idol (Fox)
8:00 p.m. 14.6/22 (#1)
8:30 p.m. 16.5/25 (#1)
9:00 p.m. 17.9/26 (#1)
9:30 p.m. 18.0/26 (#1)

The early metered market ratings aren’t necessarily predictive of what the the later fast affiliate ratings provide. Last year’s American Idol premiere averaged 33.24 million in the fast affiliate report.Bill will post the viewer and demographic data for all shows, including American Idol later in the morning, so check back. You can see the full metered market report for last night on Marc Berman’s site.

January 14, 6:45p PT: we’re having some struggles with our web server and I stopped allowing comments on this post in the hopes it would help.  Sorry about that and thanks for understanding.

Metered Market Overnight Ratings: This is normally the first available ratings information, and is based on the electronic measurement service that Nielsen provides in 56 of the nation’s largest markets. In each market a sample of homes is selected to represent that individual market. Often, networks or syndicators provide metered market information as an early indicator of a program’s performance. In aggregate, the 56 metered markets represent 79,890,610 homes, or 70% of all U.S. TV households. Preliminary metered market data are available as early as 8:00AM (ET). Final metered market information, reflecting line-up changes, pre-emptions and runovers, are normally available by 3:30PM

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Posted by:TV By The Numbers