Patchy ratings result for debut of American Idol but Ten claims to be happy

The Ten Network took out full page newspaper ads for its heavily pumped debut of American Idol but the program delivered an average result in the ratings.

It ran 15th for the night with average five city metro audience of 539,000, according to preliminary overnight ratings from OzTAM.

The show ran fourth between 7.30pm and 8.30pm – behind Seven’s tennis, Nine’s The Big Bang Theory and 7.30 on the ABC – but lifted to second in from 8.30pm to 9.30pm to beat Nine’s Person Of Interest and the ABC’s Nigellisima.

But Ten claimed it was happy with the result and has moved it to a 7.30pm and not the scheduled 8.30pm start tonight.

A Ten spokesman said the talent show – featuring Keith Urban as one judge – lifted its target 18-49 audience by 33 per cent compared to the same time last year, and ran fifth for the night in that demographic. It was aired five hours after broadcast in the US.

It was the #1 program in 18 to 49s and under 50s in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

It also grew audience. It overall had 472,000 watching the first half hour, then 594,000 in the last 30 minutes.

“We’re pleased with how it has started, pleased enough to move it to an earlier timeslot.”

The decision to make the US show a central part of Ten’s 2013 schedule raised eyebrows when it was announced late last year. Urban’s profile was raised during his stint as a judge on Nine’s The Voice.

If American Idol finds a local audience, it will raise questions of whether there is an appetite for Australian Idol to return despite the tough competition offered by The Voice on Nine and Australia’s Got Talent – which Nine has picked up the rights to after Seven relinquished them. Meanwhile, Seven has The X factor.


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