Phillip Phillips win on American Idol Wednesday night drew over 132 million votes for people however; the show’s ratings were off by 30%. The show was a combination of the best and worst of times. The 132 million votes were nearly 9 million more than any previous year, but the ratings will upset Simon Cowell when the final numbers are confirmed.
The ratings for the finale of season number 11 were only half of the 2003 season finale when Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard fought for the Idol title before 38 million viewers. Half is 21.5 million, which is still a good number, but 27% down from last year, when 29.3 million watched Scotty McCreery take the title home.
The final Nielsen ratings in fact for viewership are the show’s smallest ever for a finale. Not only were those watching at a low, but the 6.4 rating with the 18-49 adult demographic was also off by 30% from a year before.
There can be some solace taken by Idol as it easily defeated challengers like X Factor and The Voice and this year’s ratings decline was somewhat expected since last season the ratings jumped thanks to the signing of both Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.
Though it entered this season with the #1 show and bragging rights, Idol lost close to 25% of its TV audience this year. It fell below the average 20 million viewers this season and had not done that since 2003. The steepest decline was among 18-49-year old viewers, which is the most sought after by networks.
In addition, it was learned on Thursday that the show would not be the number one show after eight straight seasons of winning that coveted prize. This season’s primetime program that was rated number one was Sunday Night Football on NBC.