American Idol Debut: 17.9 Million Tune In, Ratings Down By 19 Percent

American Idol debuted its new season on Wednesday night and ratings were down by 19 percent from last January’s season premiere. 17.9 million viewers tuned into the music competition for a 6.0 rating among the 18-49 crowd.

In the last two seasons American Idol had witnessed a 17 percent drop among the same 18-49 crowd, however the dip wasn’t as big as last seasons overall 25 percent cut in ratings.

In 2012 American Idol opened to 21.9 million viewers and a 7.4 rating.

Idol has attempted to bring in more viewers with a judging panel that now includes Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj. However, increased competition from The Voice and X Factor appears to have dulled the competitions viewership.

While viewership is down Fox still ruled the ratings war on Wednesday night.

American Idol historically does worse on Thursday nights, last year it averaged 18 million viewers with a 5.7 rating among the 18-49 crowd.

In general TV ratings were down for the week with The Middle down four percent, Modern Family down ten percent and Suburgatory down eight percent. CBS also witnessed a 10 percent decrease for Criminal Minds.

NBC didn’t figure into ratings much as its entire block of Wendesday shows were in repeat.

As American Idol pushes forward further into the season the show could experience a ratings increase based on the performance of its contestants and its judges.

Do you think American Idol can gain momentum heading further into the season or is its played out format fighting a losing battle against The Voice, X Factor and other up and coming shows?