It won't make anyone forget the early incarnation of "American Idol" that struck so much fear in the heats of rival programmers that they would refer to it in hushed tones as "the Death Star," but ABC's revival of the once-colossal musical competition series delivered strong numbers for a Sunday night in 2018.
According to Nielsen preliminary data, ABC's first crack at "American Idol" averaged 10.3 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in the network's target demo, which works out to around 2.96 million adults 18 to 49. And while that's a fraction of the audience "Idol" regularly served up back in its mid-aughts heyday, the TV turnout marked a significant upgrade for ABC's Sunday 8-10 p.m. lineup, which season-to-date is averaging just 4.5 million viewers and a 1.0 in the demo.
Sunday night's "Idol" broadcast delivered ABC's biggest premiere ratings in the time slot since the supernatural drama "Resurrection" bowed to 13.9 million viewers and a 3.8 in the demo back in March 2014. Before last night's reboot, those two hours of ABC's Sunday night roster served as a placeholder for the 28-year-old "America's Funniest Home Videos" and the transplanted "Shark Tank."