Interest has fallen in American Idol and its new team of judges, initial ratings figures for the latest series show.
Media research company Nielsen said 26.2 million people watched the two-hour season premiere of US television’s most popular show on Wednesday night – 13% down from the 29.9 million people who saw last year’s season debut.
Nielsen said there was an even steeper ratings drop of 18% among the youthful audience the Fox network wants to attract.
Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler were on for the first time as judges, their style considerably nicer than Simon Cowell, who has left the talent show.
A Fox executive said the network was pleased there was still so much interest in the show and that chatter on social media about the new hosts seemed mostly positive.
The show’s ratings also grew during each of its four half-hours, said Nielsen.
Meanwhile, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Junior said he was “thoroughly disgusted” by the show’s depiction of the Bronx. The final contestant was a 16-year-old boy from the Bronx who had lived briefly with his family in a homeless shelter.