Ruh-roh? After drawing 22 million fans Wednesday, Thursday night's American Idol declined to a (still very healthy) 17.7 million viewers Thursday from 8 to 9 p.m. However, in the advertiser-beloved demo of adults under 50, Fox's veteran music competition dropped about 28 percent over its Wednesday average to an estimated 5.6 rating in preliminary Nielsen ratings (the fall-off was a less severe 20 percent if you just compare ratings from Wednesday's first hour). This isn't completely unexpected: Last year, the first Thursday episode of Idol fell about 25 percent from its Wednesday bow, and with CBS's The Big Bang Theory airing a much-promoted 100th episode last night, competition was a tad tougher this year. Indeed, CBS is noting that BBT, at least in the preliminary numbers, beat Idol from 8 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the 18 to 49 demo. [Update: Per Fox, updated final ratings show BBT and Idol tied in the 8-8:30 p.m. half-hour. Bazinga!] A year ago, Idol trounced the Chuck Lorre sitcom, and it was rare that any show, anywhere on TV, outdrew any half-hour of Idol in the demo. (Idol still brought in more overall viewers than BBT). So: Should we expect the folks at Fox to start making like the little Mad Men guy currently falling down your Vulture.com screen? Not yet. Even at these depressed numbers, Idol is still a very big show. But you know how producers always like to issue a preseason statement that this season, Idol has found "our best singers ever"? It would be helpful if that were actually true this year.
Watch our new series!
Vulture’s Secret History of Television
Let’s Salute the Worst Superhero TV ShowsView all videos
Most Viewed Stories
Miley Cyrus’s Dead Petz Is Hard to Like, or Even Endure
See How Idris Elba Used Instagram, Wisdom to Respond to That Bond Critique
How Mr. Robot Became One of TV’s Most Visually Striking Shows
BD Wong on Why Mr. Robot’s Portrayal of a Transgender Character Is Radical
The 100 TV Dramas Everyone Should Watch
Mark Ruffalo Confirms That, Incredibly, Hulk Won’t Be in Captain America: Civil War
Emma Thompson’s Wonderful Thoughts on Feminism, Ageism, Trump, and Teapots
Why Mr. Robot Is Not a Great Show (Yet)
Every Netflix Original Series, Ranked
The Rise of the Sadcom
Latest News from VultureListen to Janet Jackson's Very Lovable 'Unbreakable'
Janet, is this a love letter to us? C'mon, be honest!Empire Releases First New Season Two Songs (Including a Pitbull One)
Mr. Worldwide now exists in the Empire universe.Why Mr. Robot Is Not a Great Show (Yet)
There’s something not quite there about it, and it’s frustrating.6 Signs That Review Takes Place in Purgatory
The evidence is there.You Freaked Out Watching the Goodnight Mommy Trailer. Can You Make It Through This Horrifying Clip?
Oh, man. We are warning you.What If Joffrey Was the Hero in Game of Thrones?
A new parody video imagines.Lana Del Rey Doesn’t Need to Defend Her ‘Bad Feminism,’ But She Tried Anyway
"I shouldn’t even have to bring that up."A Walk in the Woods Is a Trail Not Worth Traveling
Nothing develops in the movie — not the people, not the journey.The Rise of the Sadcom
The raw, honest, surprisingly hopeful, long-gestating progeny of M*A*S*H.Democratic Republic of Congo Bans Film About Congolese Doctor Who Helps Rape Victims
The Man Who Mends Women tells the story of Dr. Denis Mukwege.
It'll be based on the 2001 documentary Welcome to Death Row.Mark Ruffalo Confirms That, Incredibly, Hulk Won’t Be in Captain America: Civil War
Mark Ruffalo teased bigger plans for Big Green.Chinese Censors Approve First Gay Love Story in a Movie
Wang Chao's Seek McCartney will open in theaters.The Lobster Trailer: Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz Want to Be Each Other’s Lobsters
He's Rachel Weisz's lobster!Miley Cyrus’s Dead Petz Is Hard to Like, or Even Endure
Songs meander and build to nothing. Melodies sag. Themes (weed; sex; the universe, man) recur so frequently that it’s often hard to distinguish one track from the next.Hear Lord Huron’s Gorgeous New Song Inspired by the Majestic Appalachian Mountains
The band contributes five new songs to the soundtrack for A Walk in the Woods, which stars Robert Redford, Emma Stone, and Nick Nolte.Allow Key & Peele to Show You How to Storm Off a Live-TV Interview
Those lavalier mics can be very tricky!Kevin Hart Talks to Lil Rel About Comedy, Storytelling, and Chicago
"[Eddie Murphy] was like LeBron before LeBron was even made yet."Mr. Robot Recap: I Have to Know What Happened
The finale — while filled with some of the show's most visually compelling shots and crispest dialogue yet — was, at its core, transitional.See How Idris Elba Used Instagram, Wisdom to Respond to That Bond Critique