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10 Million Viewers Show Up for ‘American Idol’ Reboot Premiere

Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

American Idol still has clout. The reboot of the show pulled in a robust audience of 10.3 million viewers during its premiere on ABC Sunday night (March 11), Nielsen reports.

The show was the most-viewed program of the night, earning a 2.3 rating in the crucial category of 18-49-year-olds and outpacing ABC’s projection in that age bracket. The number is modest compared to Idol’s heyday, but does play well among other TV programming in competing against streaming services.

Idol scored its historical highest premiere number in Season 6, which saw more than 37 million viewers. Viewership steadily increased seasons two through seven, seeing its peak in seasons four through eight, when premiere nights drew in 30 million or more viewers.

What to Expect From American Idol Judge Luke Bryan

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Country phenom Luke Bryan is on the train for 2018. He made his judging debut alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on Sunday, with a little help from fellow country superstar and former Idol alum Carrie Underwood, who offered some inspiration for Bryan in an off-camera speech. Bryan is taking his job as a judge seriously, carefully considering each contestant both on and off the screen.

“I mean, I have laid awake… worrying about, ‘Did I make the right decision?’ with some of these contestants. It’s so critical,” he explains during an interview on Good Morning America. “It’s a little out of my comfort zone to just pick people apart, you know, but you have to, it’s what you signed up for.”

Bryan isn’t the only member of the country music world to take part in the Idol revival. Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery will serve as a mentor to the Top 24 contestants alongside radio host Bobby Bones. McCreery has already filmed a portion of his segment, and based on the talent he’s seen, he’s hopeful it will be a strong season.

“The contestants were cool, great voices, and seem like they have great heads on their shoulders,” he tells Taste of Country Nights. “It should be a good year.”

American Idol airs Sunday nights at 8PM ET on ABC.

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