New York overnight Nielsen ratings for "American Idol" are out, and if they are an accurate barometer nationally of how the show will do, then "Idol" will have a good first night: a 14.2 rating and a 21 share. That represents about 1.02 million households in the so-called New York market, comprising LI, NYC, Fairfield County, Ct., and parts of northern Jersey. There are a little over (on average) two people per household which means that around 2.5 million of us, give or take, were watching last night.
Will that translate nationally? If fact, "Idol" always does better in the south, Midwest, smaller communities, etc., so the ratings there should be higher.
Nevertheless, you can be certain today that rival networks will come out with data that reveals "Idol" is down from its launch a year ago. That well may be true, but this fact is absolutely take-it-to-the-bank indisputable: This will remain TV's highest-rated entertainment program of the year. The NYC number indicates our love has not diminished.