The ratings for the FOX singing competition American Idol hit an all-time low on Thursday evening.
The one-hour results show only managed to pull in around 11 million viewers during its time slot. Roughly 2.7 million viewers in the coveted 18 to 49 demographic tuned into the program. This resulted in the lowest ratings in series history.
While these ratings are certainly a new low for the long-running series, these aren’t the worst numbers American Idol has ever posted. The show’s New Year’s Eve special in 2004 only managed to draw in approximately 2.6 million viewers. A Thanksgiving special the same year saw only 2.2 million people tuning in.
Horizon Media’s Brad Adgate told The Associated Press that American Idol is still a very valuable property for the folks at FOX. Even if the ratings continue to drop, the show will likely remain very important to the network.
Viewers may not be showing up in droves as they did during the show’s infancy, but its advertisers are still sticking around. Both Ford and Coca-Cola have remained faithful to American Idol.
A source explained to RadarOnline earlier this month that the network might have to reconfigure the show if the ratings don’t improve during the live portion of the season. Although FOX probably won’t cancel the series anytime soon, changes might be needed to keep it afloat.
“This is when the show pulls in its biggest viewing figures of the season,” the insider explained. “Traditionally, the live show phase pulls in the highest ratings, and Fox will be looking at this closely to see how it performs.”
The source added, “At the moment, and as the recent figures have shown, it’s financially performing under par because of its high production costs. The network will look at that and consider what to do next.”
American Idol producers were hoping to pull people back into the fold with the addition of Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj. Unfortunately, these changes haven’t helped bring in new viewers.
What do you think about American Idol this season? Are you surprised that ratings have hit an all-time low?