Monday’s Los Angeles Times will run a piece on how American Idol Nielsen ratings are down 8% versus last year through five weeks and down 14% among 18-49 year olds.

But Mike Darnell, Fox’s president of alternative entertainment, whose job includes overseeing “Idol” for the network, said the network has no regrets about the changes.

“I wake up every morning and I cannot believe that a show in its eighth season is as dominant as this show is,” Darnell said Friday morning.

He added that most network programs have suffered ratings drop-offs far bigger than “Idol’s” and that Fox’s singing competition still retains a huge advantage over its nearest competitors.

“If we hadn’t done these things, who knows?,” he said. “We might have been 25% or 30% off, which everyone else has been over the last few years.” – read the rest on

Especially considering that a good portion of last year’s Idol run was up against WGA strike-impaired network competition, the decreases, especially in light of how many viewers still watch don’t seem too alarming. But the article notes that nothing lasts forever and that FOX is hoping for a soft landing with American Idol along similar lines of CBS’ Survivor.

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Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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