Season 9 of Fox's "American Idol," the first without Paula Abdul and the last with Simon Cowell, kicked off Tuesday with some 29.8 million viewers over two hours, according to the preliminary Nielsens.
That's down just a little from its Season 8 premiere a year ago, which drew 30.4 million.
So is it Simon going? Ellen DeGeneres coming in? Or Paula missing? What do you think?
Significantly, CBS' "NCIS" did just fine against the "Idol" juggernaut, with an average audience of 20.7 million. But while "Idol," on average, drew 29 percent of the 18- to 49-year-olds watching TV Tuesday night, "NCIS" got about 11 percent of that group, which advertisers target most heavily.