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'American Idol' has solid 13th season launch - but not great either

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: L-R: Judges Keith Urban, Jennifer

(Credit: Fox)

Yes, "American Idol" is still alive and kicking, but this does appear to be a good news bad news scenario for Fox. Being eternal optimists and "Idol" fans, let's start with the good:

 - Last night's two-hour 13th sesaon launch wsa seen by 15.2 million viewers over two hours, and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49. Both figures place "Idol" up near the top in season launches this season. 

- The less good news: That's way off from last season's launch of 17.9 million, when a certain rubber-necking affect - would Mariah Carey punch out Niicki Minaj on live TV?  - may have lead to a larger than normal turnout. Who knows. Last night's number is still good, and if the show and Fox (and maybe the press) can get away from the numbers, the show might can actuallyl be able to get down to business and find us one of those superstars it's been promising. The new edition is better...

'American Idol' preview: New and improved

Jennifer Lopez at the "Viva Movil by Jennifer

(Credit: AP)

"American Idol" returns Wednesday night as a chastened, eager-to-please, and somewhat diminished superstar who just ... wants you to love it again.

But will you love it again? That's what we get into in tomorrow's paper -- a look at "Idol's" 13 season opener. A real rarity has occurred: Fox actually distributed review copies of the season opener. Again, that's quite the...

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Will the 'American Idol' finale originate from Madison Square Garden?

Trailer for 'American Idol,' which returns with new

 As "American Idol" fans are aware, the woods are full of rumors that their beloved show will originate from Madison Square Garden in May. The rumor is a delicious one, even a beautiful one, and as a result, there's no bigger downer than having the facts stand in the way of a good story. 

 In this particular case, the facts are inconclusive. I just got an official...

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Nielsen: 'Dancing With the Stars' edged out 'American Idol' in '13

"Dancing With the Stars" edged out "American Idol"

(Credit: AP)

Interesting bit of news from Nielsen's annual Top Ten list, released Tuesday morning: "Dancing With the Stars" edged out "American Idol" as TV's most viewed unscripted show last season. "NCIS" remained TV's top draw overall. 

It's not earth-shattering news by any means -- "Idol," consistently TV's most watched for a decade, has been in an inexorable slide for years now, but "Idol" has usually been the superior in terms of numbers; in 2012, for example, "Idol's" Wednesday show edged out "DWTS" (15.1 million viewers to "DWTS's" 15.0 million.)

But ... Nielsen's numbers show a drop of about 1 million each for both shows.

Here's the list and you'll be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that football remains preeminent. 

1. NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (NBC) 7.4 ... 21,734,000

2. SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK (NBC) 5.3 ... 15,708,000

3. THE OT (FOX) 5.0 ... 14,753,000

4. NCIS (CBS) 5.0 ... 14,692,000

5. DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC) 4.7 ... 13,862,000

6. NFL REGULAR SEASON (ESPN) 4.6 ... 13,446,000

7. AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY (FOX) 4.6 ... 13,384,000

8. BIG BANG THEORY (CBS) 4.5 ... 13,217,000

9. AMERICAN IDOL-THURSDAY (FOX) 4.5 ... 13,136,000

10. DANCING WITH THE STARS RESULTS (ABC) 4.5 ... 12,890,000

Data from 12/31/2012 - 12/08/2013. Regularly scheduled English and Spanish-language programs on Broadcast and Cable. Primetime. Persons 2+ estimates include live and same-day timeshifted viewing. Excludes breakouts, specials, programs less than 5 minutes in duration and programs with less than 4 telecasts. Read as: NBC Sunday Night Football averaged 21.7 million viewers who watched live or via timeshifted viewing within the same day. Source: Nielsen

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