‘American Idol’ ratings plummet in Season 12 premiere


The Mariah Carey-Nicki Minaj feud might not be enough to rescue “American Idol’s” ratings.

Fox’s singing competition entered its 12th season Wednesday with three new judges and sharply lower viewership. An average of 17.8 million total viewers tuned in to the two-hour premiere, slumping 19% compared with last season, according to Nielsen.

The decline among viewers age 18 to 49 -- the group most sought by advertisers -- was also 19%, suggesting that “Idol” continues to lose its grip on younger viewers.


In a news release, Fox called the decline “expected” and noted that the network still beat the combined results of ABC, CBS and NBC.

Speculation had surrounded the premiere because the producers had brought in a mostly new judging panel to replace Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. That included Carey and Minaj -- two pop divas who promptly settled in to a reported feud that producers recently insisted wasn’t manufactured for the cameras -- as well as country crooner Keith Urban. Randy Jackson is the sole surviving judge from the original “Idol” panel.

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