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.

Comments (38)

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

    Comment by wrstlgirl – January 16, 2014 08:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • agreed on all 3! really bummed about ChiPD.

      Comment by Elyse – January 16, 2014 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Still higher than Xfactor regardless LOL

    Comment by Kaba – January 16, 2014 08:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Eric7740 – January 16, 2014 08:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOL, I like Nashville but I wouldn’t cry if it went away. Some aspects of it are ridiculous.

      Comment by wrstlgirl – January 16, 2014 09:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Lisa – January 16, 2014 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • 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!

        Comment by DreamRose311 – January 16, 2014 09:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agree. Nashville should be retired.

      Comment by GingerSnap – January 16, 2014 07:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Chicago PD and Arrow were both great last night, too bad the ratings don’t show it.

    Comment by Ashley – January 16, 2014 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I know! I loved them both!

      Comment by sarah – January 16, 2014 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Modern Family was over the top great. Really enjoyed it. Arrow was strong too think it’s goign to be better with every ep.

    Comment by Maki – January 16, 2014 09:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by Katlynn – January 16, 2014 09:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by TigerNightmare – January 16, 2014 09:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Dav – January 16, 2014 09:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Actually, Hulu does rely on commercials. Why else do Hulu Plus members endure commercials as much as the free users?

        Comment by Esaul – January 16, 2014 10:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was great to see Suburgatory on TV again, wish the ratings had started out a little stronger

    Comment by Amanda – January 16, 2014 09:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • what was wrong? Everyone was watching an hour of new Duck Dynasty!! But Variety won’t talk about that now will they?

    Comment by LibSUCK – January 16, 2014 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Even that wasn’t quite as high as usual

      Comment by Dys – January 16, 2014 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Erm, not everyone, no. I had to work last night, but even if I’d been home I wouldn’t have been watching that show.

      Comment by Angela – January 16, 2014 04:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Jenny – January 16, 2014 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would have loved to have watched Revolution but it was bumped for some stupid basketball game in my area.

    Comment by Jane – January 16, 2014 09:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by james – January 16, 2014 09:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “Ratings: American Idol Returns to Premiere Low.” Seems clear. But I have tweaked the intro line to assure maximum, crystal-clear clarity.

      Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – January 16, 2014 09:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • And see I’m not the only one who thought it was a mistake to bring back jlo!

    Comment by Mika02 – January 16, 2014 10:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by GildedRose – January 16, 2014 10:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by rumbleinthekitchen – January 16, 2014 10:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I predict Idol ratings will go up as people hear how much better it is this season.

    Comment by Blinged Up – January 16, 2014 11:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by scooby – January 16, 2014 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s what I think too. Tonight will be the real test.

      Comment by Timmah – January 16, 2014 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by GingerSnap – January 16, 2014 07:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Looks like almost every show was down.

    Comment by Charstin – January 16, 2014 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Matty – January 16, 2014 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Richard – January 16, 2014 01:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • 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.

        Comment by mattty – January 16, 2014 01:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Pat – January 16, 2014 01:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Amy – January 16, 2014 03:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When a series’ low is still TOP RATED and MOST WATCHED of the whole night, why does it even matter?! lol

    Comment by Jared – January 16, 2014 03:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Julie – January 16, 2014 05:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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