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American Idol 2011 Ratings

Posted by on February 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM EST

the big bang theoryWhile it may not get the ratings it once did, “American Idol” is still the biggest show on TV and is still dominating its time slot. Thanks to Idol’s ratings FOX had its biggest Thursday night ratings than it has had in years.

Thursday nights have been owned by CBS for the last few years and this year has been no exception, until last night. Anchored by their runaway hit The Big Bang Theory, CBS had been so dominate in the ratings that other networks often stay away from putting their best shows on up against them. But then Jennifer Lopez had a breakdown on camera and everyone tuned in to see if she could pull it together and get herself back on track to finish the selection of the final 24.

21.5 million people tuned in to watch American Idol on Thursday night. That is actually up 11 percent from last season. Last year the show aired on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This season it has moved to Wednesdays and Thursdays where it has to go head-to-head against the geeks and William Shatner filled powerhouse of CBS.

Idol seems to have found itself again. They have a lot of actual good singers this year and many of these people have good stories to tell. By shortening the rounds we have gotten to know and already start to love and hate some of them which is a great sign for the show. While there is no harshness of Simon Cowell – which is sometimes sorely missed – Steven Tyler is charismatic and charming and while he is often nice, he does seem to enjoy messing with the contestants. It’s not the same chemistry as Paula, Simon and Randy had, but it works and the ratings are telling the story.

Overall CBS was still strong. The Big Bang Theory brought in 12.5 million viewers and CSI brought in 12.4 million. The CBS shows held onto their audiences from past weeks, but still couldn’t touch Idol which means that Idol’s fans seem willing to follow the show to whatever night it may air. I find myself wondering how many people watched Idol to see what happened with JLO while DVRing the adventures of Sheldon, Penny and Leonard on Big Bang Theory.

Now American Idol’s real test begins. They have selected their final 24 and America now gets to vote. They have cast their lot with these 12 guys and 12 girls and have to hope that the country can find a few of them that they connect with and want to support. If they can’t people might go back to watching whatever they were before on Thursday nights.



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