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'American Idol' Premiere Tops Charts

By Reality TV World staff, 06/12/2002 reports that it's too soon to say whether FOX's "American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" will become the pop-culture phenomenon that its predecessor did in the United Kingdom. But it at least has a chance.

Tuesday night's (June 11) premiere of the show, based on the British "Pop Idol," helped FOX win the night in total viewers and in the young-adult demographics it craves.

"American Idol" averaged 9.9 million viewers from 8:30 to 10 p.m., leading second-place CBS by more about 1.7 million. The show also posted a 4.8 rating/14 share among adults 18-49 and a 6.2/19 in adults 18-34.

The 90-minute debut showed judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson sitting through thousands of auditions -- some extraordinary, many more extraordinarily off-key -- of would-be singers vying for a chance at a record contract. They then narrowed the field to 120 people, who were invited to Hollywood for another round of competition.

"Pop Idol" was a huge ratings success in the United Kingdom, where its finale was seen by more than 70 percent of people ages 16-34.

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