According to preliminary reports, despite fears of a drop, the viewership for last night's two-hour premiere of American Idol's Abdul-less ninth season was pretty much the same as it was for last year's first episode: 29.8 million people watched, with an 11.7 rating among adults 18–49. In fact, by the time final numbers are reported this afternoon, Fox might even see the first ratings increase for an Idol debut since 2007's premiere. Says Fox exec Mike Darnell: "This is champagne cork-popping time." We bet Paula's going to be upset that she missed that. [Live Feed/HR]
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