"American Idol" opened with 21.6 million viewers and about a 7 in the demo last night.
You're right: Incredible numbers, but not in comparison to last year's open, when about 25 million checked out the show's season premiere.
So: The beginning of the end for "Idol?" That would be a foolish spin. There was a huge curiosity factor last season, with the new judges (J.Lo and Steven Tyler) joining, accompanied by a vast amount of press and hype. A larger than usual number was expected by everyone.
Last night's number was just fine. "Idol" is still a monster.