While Wednesday night’s American Idol season 11 finale generated the highest grossing number of votes for the show and winner Phillip Phillips, it also totaled the lowest ratings in the show’s finale history.
Season 11 finale’s ratings were half of what they were during the 2003 season when Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken battled it out in front of 38 million viewers—the most watched Idol finale ever—and 27 percent decline from the 29.3 million who saw Scotty McCreery take home the title last year.
Idol still beat the finale ratings for such up-and-coming rivals as The Voice (11.93 million viewers) and X Factor (12.59 million viewers). Also, the ratings decline was expected, since season 10 received a small boost due to the addition of judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.
According to reports, the steep Idol fall was among viewers 18-49, the most sought-after demographic among networks.
Unfortunately for Idol, it was the first time in eight years, the competition show will not finish the season as the top-rated primetime program. NBC’s Sunday Night Football completed the 2011-2012 season as the leading primetime program in total viewers and in all key audience demographics.
The Wednesday night Idol performance broadcast averaged 19.7 million viewers and 18.3 million for the season.
This article was originally published on AllMediaNY.com