It brought hype and star power to ABC but American Idol definitely showed it age during its 16th season debut on Sunday: the new iteration with judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie was the least-watched Idol among all prior debuts on Fox, according to early Nielsen results.
Though the singing competition helped ABC to win the night in viewers (8.2 million) and in the key 18-49 demographic (1.7 rating), Idol saw its lowest-rated season premiere ever, falling 23 percent from its prior season premiere (3.0 in January of 2016) on Fox.
It was still a plus for ABC. The network had its best Sunday in almost six years and towered over the competition by 70 percent. AI was Sunday’s No. 1 show among viewers (10.3 million) and adults 18-49 (2.3). The show definitely helped to launch the new drama Deception, which ranked No.1 in its 10 p.m. time slot in 18-49 (1.3) beating the premiere of Timeless on NBC by 63 percent in the demographic.