Fox's "American Idol" returned Wednesday night to its lowest-rated and least-watched regular season premiere telecast ever (the first season aired during the summer and generally isn't counted). "Idol" delivered 17.9 million viewers and a 6.0 adults 18-49 demo rating.
That's down 19 percent from last year's opener, which was the previous lowest-ever record-holder.
The numbers also mean last night's "Idol" premiere will not be the most-watched entertainment show this week — Tuesday's "NCIS" had 22.9 million viewers. This is the first time another series was seen by more viewers than "Idol" during its regular season premiere week.
OK, I'll say it if no one else will. American Idol is not about talent, it's about ratings. They don't care if the top 50, 25, or 10 are really, really great singers or not, they want people to keep coming back to watch the show - damn the album sales because that's not where their cash flow comes from. It's in the merchandising and advertising dollars they generate from people watching the show - that's why you have a person who can blow get less airplay than the really attractive 20-something who'll have teenaged girls, or boys, glued to the TV set every week.
I wonder what would happen if just one year, they would make the show about singing?
A top 10 that leaves you pissed off every single week because you voted for every single person, and it hurts your heart to see ANYONE go home.
Not a show where you have two really good singers. Two decent singers. Two a-ight singers, and four WTF's.