About 17.8 million people tuned in for a first look at Mariah Carey vs. Nicki Minaj, compared to last season’s 22 million who watched last year’s season premiere, featuring Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.
A similar fate fell upon Fox’s other singing competition, “X Factor,” this past season. Even after Simon Cowell ramped up the judging line-up — Britney “please let her have a meltdown” Spears, Demi “please bring in the teen audience” Lovato — the show still scored only approximately 9 million people in the Season 2 premiere, less than the 12.5 million who tuned in for the series debut.
Anyway, “Idol” still easily beat everything in else that was on TV — also in the highly-coveted 18-to-49-year-old viewer category — including new episodes of ABC’s “Modern Family” and CBS’s “Criminal Minds,” which came in No. 2 for total viewers with 12.5 million on Wednesday night.
Another test will come Thursday with the two-hour conclusion of the “Idol” season premiere, though its big competition — CBS’s comedy lineup — is in repeats.