Ratings: Olympics Dip, Idol Hits an All-Time Low

Ratings American Idol Series LowNBC’s primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics on Thursday averaged 20 million total viewers and a 4.9 demo rating, down just a tenth from the night prior but down 12 and 17 percent from the comparable night in Vancouver 2010.

RELATED | Olympics Watch: What Was Your Favorite Moment From Day 13?

To date, Sochi is off 9 and 13 percent versus Vancouver.

RELATED | 2014 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?

Elsewhere on Thursday, Fox’s American Idol Top 13 reveal (9.2 mil and a 2.4) was down 10 and 20 percent week-to-week, hitting an all-time demo low and drawing its smallest audience since Season 1 (7/24/2002). UPDATE: Yes, Idol was bested by a Big Bang repeat in their shared half hour (8.8 mil/2.3 vs. 10.1 mil/2.6)…. Rake (4 mil/1.0) slipped one tenth in the demo…. ABC’s The Taste finale was steady at 3.2 mil/0.9.

NEXT WEEK: Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal return, Vikings and Portlandia launch new seasons and Sundance premieres The Red Road

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  1. Aimee says:

    A repeat of The Big Bang Theory beat a new episode of Idol. OUCH!

  2. Ava says:

    At least next week, regular programming is back. I like the olympics but enough is enough.

  3. wrstlgirl says:

    VIKINGS!!!!!! I bailed on Rake. I just have to many other shows to watch/catch up on during the week and Rake just isn’t that good.

  4. Larry says:

    I’m not surprised the Winter Olympics aren’t doing that great with the ratings. It was a mistake to have it in Russia to begin with. It’s all politics anyway and the viewers know it. That’s why not many people are watching it. Kim got robbed last nite. Just as Virtue/Moir got robbed the week before.

    • David4 says:

      Yeah Russia spent 51 billion on a horribly built area where it’s warmer than the Sydney summer games. They are cheating, because clearly money isn’t an issue. They don’t care about human rights, might as well have the games in Syria or North Korea. It was a stupid idea to begin with and I’m amazed 20 million people are bothering with the games.

    • Timmah says:

      The real problem is that NBC broadcasts things that have happened 12-24 hours prior, and makes you sit through multiple commercial breaks just to see one complete event. In this day and age, that just doesn’t cut it.

      • jen says:

        this. I don’t understand why nbc doesn’t air things live and their primetime coverage is filled with too much ‘fluff,’ I’d much rather see the sports!

  5. Alison Jones says:

    I’m surprised the ratings are bad on American Idol. This year is so good so far! I know last year was bad, but this year seems like this one is starting to be one of the best, most talented ever. Everyone in the top 13 is amazing. Last year, there was only one good contestant. Does anyone remember the runner up last year? Well this year seems like there are 5 or 6 standouts and the rest are good too. My favorite is the pink haired rocker Jess Muse.

    • james says:

      There were actually some outstanding girls last year, but they all got overshadowed by the judges and the less-than-stellar guys.

      I agree that Idol is awesome this year. It’s too bad more people aren’t aware.

    • I predicted at the beginning that putting Harry as judge would be a killer but I didn’t expect J Lo to be such a disappointment.

    • Oh my goodness. I was thinking the exact opposite of what you say about this years’ top 13. There are a few (very few) guys in the competition that might possibly sell a cd or two, but NONE of the girls will ever be recording stars. This year, the judges did a ridiculous job of picking the contestants!

      • Terri says:

        I totally agree. There are only about four singers that l like this year.

      • hotchili says:

        Yes, you should be running a record company or something because you understand marketing. They pick singers who they think are unique but always are not technically good singers to listen to!

    • p. viands says:

      These past few years the singers, any of them, sound like wobbly screech owls…so the judges possibly do not know what they are doing anyway. And they wonder why the ratings are down.

    • Paul says:

      OMG R U nuts!! last year there were 4 great girls on the finals,their voices were amazing (a little less Angie). In my opinion Amber should Win,Angie was the most comercial, Kree was a very humble contestant but like always “Idol” used her BackStory about her parents, that played against her. Candice had a great voice but I not sure if is comercial enough

    • Mary Anne says:

      AI has done great things this year. The show is about the competition. They judges, even JLo, are showcasing the kids and not hogging the limelight, but offering an entertaining presence that’s any producer’s dream, especially after recent disappointments. It’s so full of talent and interesting people in the contestants and the professional judges and mentors, that it doesn’t need to look for shock factor to get the audience. Give it time. It’ll rebound.

  6. Diz says:

    With the Olympics all online & on the app live of course the ratings will be down compared to Vancouver.

  7. Parker says:

    JMO The midwest and south are Idol’s biggest viewer areas and they got blasted with storms last night. I was out on a ladder cleaning off the satellite dish 3 times. 12 inches of heavy wet snow took down trees and power lines etc. Don’t read too much into last night’s ratings.

  8. MP says:

    Are American Idol ratings good compared to other Fox shows?

  9. Matt says:

    The Olympic ratings I do not believe are so much because of politics, but more because of the time difference and the fact that some people are getting the results before the events air.

    • Timmah says:

      Exactly. NBC thinks it’s still 1994 and people don’t have instant access to everything that happens around the world.

      • tealeaves says:

        It seems to me in 1994 I was watching Olympic events live at 2 am. Am I just not remembering right? My memory is that it is only in recent years that the coverage has been relegated to prime time only.

    • Len says:

      They should be comparing ratings with the last time shifted Olympics, and not one located in NA and a close time difference.

      Considering the advances in technology and streaming, even in 4 years, let alone 8 years from the last major time difference winter games, Down 10% is actually VERY good.

      Course the advertisers don’t want logic, just umbers.

  10. Miss Dany says:

    There are just too many wannabe singers to keep track of. I don’t know if anyone knows, but Candace Glover released an album and it bombed. She sold less than 20,000. Kree Harris and Angie Milton never got record deals and have fallen off the radar compltely. I forsee that nobody from this year will be successful either. Though it’s possible one of the country guys will have some luck in the country format. But people thought that about Kree as well and what happened to her. The last successful winner was Phillip Phillips and the ratings were still good back then. I see the show trying to recreate that success with Sam Wolf and the other WGWG(I think his name is Alan). However, both need to work on their stage presence.

    • Parker says:

      His name is Alex, but I doubt he’ll go very far. Not mainstream enough for Idol.

    • SayWhat says:

      Caleb is awesome. He has a good shot at winning. The show needs show rock and roll excitement. Last year’s cast was extremely boring.

    • tealeaves says:

      Idol had a rough season last year. This season is much better. People should give it another shot. Hopefully this drop is just because of the Olympics.

    • The days of reality show superstars are long over. Although a few contestants post-Underwood have had moderate success, most contestants since Carrie’s season have fallen into obscurity.

      • tealeaves says:

        So what? Since when is that the only reason to watch a reality TV show?

      • Wade Early says:

        “Reality show super stars”?…Of course most of the contestants don’t amount to much, after the “kiddie” contest is over…Because girls between 8-15 yrs. of age are probably the biggest voting block….The boys who get votes are the boys that these little girls would most like to date, or be seen with…the girls who get votes are the girls that are “nice”, cute, friendly, and would be a really cool girl friend to show-off to the rest of the 7th graders….The contestants that have real talent, and are ready for the long haul of a performing/recording career will find their way to professional…or “Idol” status, without the immature kiddie votes…..It’s always been a “kiddie” show. That’s where the money is at with most of these shows….So long “Idol”….

    • Terri says:

      I like Alex Preston and Sam Wolf too but I see them ending up like Lee Dewyze because they don’t have the stage presence

  11. JEREMY says:

    American Idol hasn’t been the same since Simon left,and FOX might as well just kick the whole show to the curb.

    The evidence is in the ratings .Without Simon,there IS no show.
    I see Jennifer Lopez had the good sense NOT to stick around longer than one season.

  12. Jayme says:

    The talent this year is horrendous…no talent. Only Alex and Caleb are worthy of being in the top 13. There are no words to describe what a horrible job the judges did this year. Just horrible!

    • Robert Reeves says:

      Yea, the talent is really bad on Idol (this year is just plain awful so far) except for a couple in past couple years like Colton and Angie, especially compared to the competition on The Voice…Idol seems to be targeted to the teenagers mostly and has been in a steep decline for a few years…The Voice has quality singers but doesn’t appear to have the connections that Idol has to the music industry yet to properly market this superior talent…

  13. Bridget says:

    I am not thrilled with this year. First Kristen leaves and now Emily. Emily had one of the nicest voices. All the boys sound alike and no one is standing out. Also, wish I knew why Jimm isn’t doing the mentoring. He was the best and got it right with everyone.

  14. E.L. says:

    The show is boring this yr. The talent is.just ..ok, ,and if I miss an episode i dont care much. I watch the voice more.

  15. Ross W says:

    American Idol fails because of quality and (lowest common denominator) format. Not just the quality of the singers but that of the judges. All three are talented but Harry C is the only one who’s not intellectually challenged. On the Voice, even the judges’ rivalry is witty and amusing and appears to be based on mutual respect. I tuned in to AI13 last night and couldn’t bear to watch after three songs. I had to turn it off and, while it remains in this format, will never be tempted to watch it again.