Talent Recap

‘American Idol’ Premiere Leads Sunday Ratings in Key Demographic

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Ryan Seacrest on 'American Idol'ABC/Eric McCandless

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American Idol returned for Season 21 on ABC this past Sunday night, and the ratings for the premiere episode are a bit complicated. Although it led the night in the key 18-49 demographic, the show was down from previous season premieres.

American Idol Premiere Leads in Sunday Night’s Ratings

According to TVLine, the Season 21 American Idol premiere was No. 1 in the key demo, with a score of 0.6. However, 60 Minutes on CBS had the night’s biggest audience, with 6.6 million total viewers initially reported compared to Idol, which reportedly had 5.1 million.

The Hollywood Reporter points out that Idol actually had its smallest ABC premiere ever this week. It reportedly lost a million viewers from last year’s season premiere, as well as a third of its 18-49 demographic rating.

The outlet also provided some slightly updated numbers, with Idol‘s total audience for Sunday’s premiere being reported at 5.27 million viewers, and the demo score at 0.61. This is the show’s sixth season on ABC after originally airing on FOX.

The new season features returning judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan, as well as the show’s longtime host Ryan Seacrest.



Sunday night’s two-hour Season 21 premiere featured several emotional auditions, including one from Kya Monee’, who previously competed on Season 19. Monee’ performed a duet with runner-up Willie Spence during Hollywood Week, and the pair became friends.

Spence tragically passed away in a car crash last year at the age of 23. Monee’ delivered an emotional performance of “I’m Here” from The Color Purple that brought tears to the judges’ eyes as they remembered Spence.

American Idol Season 21 will return this Sunday night for the second episode of auditions, as the judges continue to hand out Golden Tickets to Hollywood. Is another Platinum Ticket in store this week? We’ll have to wait and see.

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