Ratings: American Idol Returns to Premiere Low, Arrow Dips, Chicago P.D. Drops, CSI Rises

American Idol Premiere RatingsAmerican Idol‘s Season 13 launch was no recipe for Nielsen love, delivering a series low for a premiere — even trailing Season 1’s summertime bow — in the demo.

Drawing 15.2 million viewers and a 4.7 rating (per Fox’s fast-ordered finals), Idol was down 15 and 22 percent from its year-ago opener and landed one tenth behind the show’s 2002 debut, which netted a 4.8.

In total audience, however, the launch of Idol XIII — which TVLine readers gave an average grade of “A-“ — bested the show’s maiden voyage, which drew 9.9 mil.

RELATED | American Idol Premiere Recap: The Sob Days Are Over, the Sob Days Are Done

Versus The Voice‘s most recent season premiere (14.7 mil/4.9), Idol managed a few more viewers. Fox also notes that this is first time Idol has returned higher (up 31 percent in the demo) from its previous finale since Season 10.

Over on CBS, leading out of sitcom reruns in the 8 o’clock hour, Criminal Minds (10.5 mil/2.4) shed a few eyeballs but was steady in the demo versus its fall finale, while CSI (10.3 mil/2.0) returned up two tenths (and opposite the Duck Dynasty season premiere; numbers to come later. Cable!).

RELATED | Suburgatory Season 3 Premiere Recap: Will You Be Moving Back to Chatswin?

ABC’s The Middle (7.5 mil/1.8) was down 18 percent in the demo, while Suburgatory returned to 5.3 mil and a 1.6 — on par with its Season 2 finale (which aired at 8:30) but down sharply from its previous premiere (7.5 mil/2.8, leading out of Modern Family). Mod Fam (9.1 mil/3.2) slipped three tenths, Super Fun Night (4.6 mil/1.5) was down two tenths and Nashville (5.1 mil/1.3) ticked down one tenth.

RELATED | Nashville Recap: My Life Would Suck Without You

NBC’s Revolution (4.9 mil/1.3) and SVU (5.5 mil/1.4) were both down about 15 percent in the demo, while Chicago P.D. (5.5 mil/1.5) tumbled 36 and 25 percent from its series launch.

The CW’s Arrow (2.5 mil/0.9) returned down 17 and 19 percent, but The Tomorrow People (1.6 mil/0.5) was flat.

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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38 Comments
  1. wrstlgirl says:

    Dang, what was going on last night to cause these dismal ratings. Revolution, Chicago PD and Arrow were all fantastic episodes.

  2. Kaba says:

    Still higher than Xfactor regardless LOL

  3. Eric7740 says:

    What is up with last nights ratings??? Arrow was great, The Middle was hilarious!!! Please tell me this is Nashville’s final season, I’m sorry for you Nashville lovers, but the show is truly a snooze fest!!! If ever I need to go to sleep, I’ll watch Nashville and be asleep in 5 mins.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      LOL, I like Nashville but I wouldn’t cry if it went away. Some aspects of it are ridiculous.

    • Lisa says:

      Nashville is my favorite show. It was slow the first season, but has become great this season. Why would you want to cancel a show you don’t watch? If you don’t like a show change the channel and let the rest of us continue to enjoy it.

      • DreamRose311 says:

        Yeah, I generally want shows that I don’t watch to survive… I watch too much tv as it is, don’t need shows I don’t watch opening up holes for shows that I might want to watch!

    • GingerSnap says:

      Agree. Nashville should be retired.

  4. Ashley says:

    Chicago PD and Arrow were both great last night, too bad the ratings don’t show it.

  5. Maki says:

    Modern Family was over the top great. Really enjoyed it. Arrow was strong too think it’s goign to be better with every ep.

  6. Katlynn says:

    The ratings system suck and are becoming obsolete. Do Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon use dumb neilson ratings system to gauge success of their shows? No. One day these networks are going to be sorry for keeping the old system because all good shows will just go to other formats and leave networks. Networks will be left with garbage

    • It’s nice to think that content creation alone is enough to fund shows, but everything on the networks cost significantly more and they still make more money than Netflix. We’re kinda stuck with the ad-based system for a while. Hopefully there will be a better measure of viewers than the Nielsens can offer.

    • Dav says:

      What an absurd argument. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon don’t use Neilson ratings because they are a subscription based service and don’t rely on commercials for ad revenue. Please learn how the industry actually works before you start criticizing it.

  7. Amanda says:

    It was great to see Suburgatory on TV again, wish the ratings had started out a little stronger

  8. LibSUCK says:

    what was wrong? Everyone was watching an hour of new Duck Dynasty!! But Variety won’t talk about that now will they?

  9. Jenny says:

    Not completely surprised with lower AI. I know there are a lot of people who were turned away for good because of the pimping and feeling like you were being forced to like someone.

  10. Jane says:

    I would have loved to have watched Revolution but it was bumped for some stupid basketball game in my area.

  11. james says:

    Let’s be clear that Idol had it’s lowest premiere demo rating, but not its series low. Like you said, it was up 28% from the finale.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      “Ratings: American Idol Returns to Premiere Low.” Seems clear. But I have tweaked the intro line to assure maximum, crystal-clear clarity.

  12. Mika02 says:

    And see I’m not the only one who thought it was a mistake to bring back jlo!

  13. GildedRose says:

    Not surprised by the lower Arrow ratings. I expected them considering they’re only just back from hiatus. People forget. People don’t realize it’s back just yet. Then they’ll catch up and next week’s will be higher. This is why I hate hiatuses. The shows really just shoot themselves in the foot.

  14. I think too many people were turned off by last week’s Chicago P.D. Which I both understand and think is sad. Because while the first week was meh at best, this week was great.

  15. Blinged Up says:

    I predict Idol ratings will go up as people hear how much better it is this season.

    • scooby says:

      Yeah it definitely is better, and you can tell already. People that actually watched the show were pretty positive. I love that JLo is gonna have to deal with Harry and his music theory knowledge. If only he’d been on the panel with her before. I think he’ll have an aneurysm or ring her neck if she says “goosies” too much.

    • Timmah says:

      That’s what I think too. Tonight will be the real test.

    • GingerSnap says:

      I’m taking a wait and see approach. I never have cared for the audition shows and there is much better shows to watch on Wednesday night – like Arrow, The Tomorrow People, The Middle, Modern Family and even Revolution.

      And I’m one of those who is offended that they brought JLo back. When they hit the live rounds, I doubt that I will spend my time watching the show. I’m taking the same approach that I did with The Voice. I will watch the performances on YouTube or Hulu and skip all the filler in between.

      Because, really, I have better things to do with my Wednesday and Thursday nights.

  16. Charstin says:

    Looks like almost every show was down.

  17. Matty says:

    Idol is done I think, It’s been on a steady decline for years, I don’t get why so many people blamed the judges last season. The show had been dropping steadily for the previous 4-5 seasons before they even came on. So this is news has to be amusing to them, The show has had to deal with saturation in the market, simple age, and also not keeping itself fresh for too long a period. Even with new judges last year, the same old boring format was still there, Nigel was the one who should have been gone a long time ago. And they never should have switched back to the 4 judge format. It didn’t work the first time they tried it. I also think producers wanted that friction between Mariah and Nicki thinking it would generate ratings. This news just made me smile because I said all this last year. J-Lo never should have been brought back either. The ratings dropped both of her first two seasons, and she really has no business judging a singing competition. These guys seem to wanna blame everyone else for the shows decline, when it’s been just poorly run for years.

    • Richard says:

      It honestly should not have anything to do with the judges. They are only there to critique the contestants, that is all, and the judges have been very rude and over critical in the past five years. The REAL reason i believe for the ratings which I believe will continue to slide is the voting which does not reflect who the American people voted for to win American Idol. There is proof of this all over the internet if you do your research as I did, There has only been a few years that the voting was truly who America picked to be the winner, And from what I read online was the years that Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood won. Last year was a travesty, the judges were not that good, but most importantly, the person with the most talent did not win and there are a lot of Americans who feel as I do. When it is time to vote for the contestant with the most talent and the person who has all the qualities to be the winner, the person with the most votes on Idol has not won in years and years, and what good is it to vote when certain votes from America are not counted.

      • mattty says:

        The last 5 years? This show took off in part to Simon and his over critiquing of the contestants. The voting had been an issue because of the fact that young girls were always voting for cute boys. Last year they eliminated that possibility because they’re weren’t any cute young boys to vote for. This may have also been part of the reason ratings declined. The young girls probably didn’t even bother to watch. Ad far the right person not winning, that is an opinion. Please don’t state it as a fact, and please don’t male statements like most of America agrees. You are not the voice of America. And reading some stuff online and collecting a few opinions hardly counts as “most of america.” both finalists were extremely talented last year. As a matter of fact, the top 4-5 was probably the most talented as a whole I. The history of the show. It’s a singing competition no matter what anyone says, and in the end, the one with the strongest voice and greatest vocal ability won. Just my opinion there, I won’t say most of America agrees, but she did receive more votes, so at least I’d have some credibility if I were going to make that statement. The show shouldn’t be about the judges, but guess what? It is. The show took off initially because of strong buzz about Simon. Last year would have been more successful if there were 3 judges who were there to actually critique. Not 4, with the 4th really being there more for publicity and to create friction.

  18. Pat says:

    Arrow was good, last night as was Modern Family. Also, I haven’t watched Criminal Minds, CSI nor Psych which are waiting for me on the DVR. So with that, I am not sure why some ratings have dropped.

  19. Amy says:

    eh, numbers schmumbers. 10ths of points? With all due respect, I know it matters in the industry, but to me, and “average” viewer, not so much.
    Still loving Idol. I think no show with that longevity would ever maintain the high numbers of its apex…but a 15.2 mil audience, season 13, ain’t shabby. Of all the singing competitions, Idol is the original and still the best.
    OT..Love Nashville too.

  20. Jared says:

    When a series’ low is still TOP RATED and MOST WATCHED of the whole night, why does it even matter?! lol

  21. Julie says:

    I’m really liking Chicago PD. Hope it improves. And last nights Criminal Minds was probably the best one in recent years, at least in the post-Prentiss era. The sexual harassment seminar at the beginning was great! Haven’t watched Modern Fam yet but heard it was good. Thank God for DVR.

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