'American Idol' ratings drop 26% from last season


The ratings are in for "American Idol's" premiere and it looks as if some are tiring of the reality juggernaut 11 seasons in. Last night's premiere drew 21.6 million, dropping 26% in viewers 18-49 from last year's premiere and 18% in overall viewers. The premieres reached the height of its popularity during season six -- the year Jordin Sparks took home the AI crown -- when it drew 37.44 million people.

Don't let these numbers fool you into thinking "Idol" could be canceled anytime soon. It's "by far the highest-rated entertainment program on TV and dominated primetime last night," according to Deadline.

Is 11 seasons simply too much? As a devoted viewer of "American Idol" since its Kelly Clarkson days, I was one of those who failed to tune in beyond the first 20 minutes. I just couldn't stomach another two hours of watching canned auditions with little suspense as to who would make it to Hollywood. Even the addition of point-of-view footage from the contestants wasn't enough to keep me going. 

Could it be the judges? Randy, J. Lo and Steven Tyler were toothless last year in their judging, praising even the poorest performance. Yet, they were forgiven in my mind because the addition of two new judges was still a novelty. Has the lack of a Big Bad, formerly in the form of Simon Cowell, taken the suspense out of the show?

Or could the ratings drop be ascribed to the countless teens coming before the cameras and recounting how they'd been watching the show since they were babies, making this particular viewer feel way older than she should?

Did you watch last night or did you skip it? Will you plan on watching this year at all? Have at it in the comments.