'American Idol' draws huge ratings in second season premiere, carries FOX to biggest ever non-sports night
By Reality TV World staff, 01/22/2003
Mediapost reports that second season premiere of "American Idol" opened big in the ratings -- real big. The series not only won Tuesday night's ratings race for FOX, but it made Tuesday FOX's highest-rated non-sports event night ever!
Fast-affiliate overnight ratings released by FOX show that about 26.5 million viewers tuned in to the hour-and-a-half of American Idol, with an estimated 17/24 total rating. The show delivered an average 12.4/30 in adults 18-49 and 14.1/37 in adults 18-34.
According to figures released by Fox, more viewers tuned in as the show went on. There were 30 million viewers at 9 p.m., compared to 23 million at 8 p.m. Fox said it was the highest rated Tuesday night in network history among adults 18-49, total viewers, households, adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and all key male and female measures. It was also Fox’s highest rated series telecast in total viewers since Nov. 2, 1997’s episode of the X-Files and in adults 18-49 and 18-34 since the Nov. 23, 1997, episode of the X-Files. Fast-affiliate estimates reportedly showed Fox in first place with a 16.7 rating and 23 share, compared to second-place CBS’ 10.4 rating/15 share and ABC’s 6.4 rating and 9 share and NBC’s 5.9 rating and 9 share.