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'American Idol:' 21.6 million viewers

"American Idol" judges Steven Tyler, left, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, appear on the first show of Season 11 which aired Jan. 18, 2012. Credit: Fox

"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.  

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