'American Idol' ratings have already fallen, despite Fox's record-breaking Thursday
01/21/2011 by Olivia Allin
"American Idol" returned to the small screen on January 19 for its 10th season and is already losing ratings. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a total average of of 22.9 million viewers on tuned in to watch the second show on Thursday, down 9 percent compared to the total viewers on Wednesday's premiere, which garnered 29.9 million viewers. Last season's second installment brought in 26.4 million viewers, while its first averaged 30.4 million viewers. Season 10 has brought on new judges, actress Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler who will join returning judge, Randy Jackson. It was reported in December that this season of "American Idol" will undergo several changes. The top 12 contestants are set to live together in a house in the Hollywood Hills, use social media and could head to Las Vegas on a road trip. Theme weeks will feature decades instead of performances of songs by one artist and singers will made music videos. Nigel Lythgoe, who is returning as executive producer following last year's series shake-up, says the group of finalists is diverse and includes many 15-year-olds and an aspiring young country singer. The minimum age of eligibility had been lowered from 16 to 15 for the upcoming season. The contestants, Lythgoe told OnTheRedCarpet, appeared less intimidated by Lopez and Tyler, both of which he said "held back" when it came to their bedside manner of rejection. This is the first season of the singing competition series without sharp-tongued judge, Simon Cowell, who often drove contestants to tears. Despite a drop in ratings from Wednesday, the move to Thursday night made it Fox's highest-rated Thursday of regular programming since 1995.
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