LOS ANGELES – More than 35 million people watched
“American Idol” return to the Fox television network, the
biggest audience yet for a season premiere of the hit talent
show, Nielsen Media Research said on Wednesday.
The two-hour debut of Season 5 on Tuesday, featuring
celebrity judge Simon Cowell viciously critiquing aspiring pop
stars auditioning in Chicago, averaged 35.5 million viewers,
according to preliminary figures.
In addition to surpassing the first four “Idol” premieres
in total audience, the start of the fifth edition was the
show’s most highly rated season opener among viewers aged 18 to
49, the demographic most prized by advertisers.