“American Idol” gathered an impressive average of 24.8 million viewers during it’s third season return. For those that follow the Nielsen Media Research speak the show was a big hit with a 12.5 rating/30 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to the first estimates.
The debut of "My Big, Fat Obnoxious Fiancé" also did a solid job of retaining viewers. It pulled in an estimated 21.4 million viewers and a 9.9/22 share.
There was a cloud in the “Fiancé” silver lining; it appears that once some people got a taste of the show they tuned out. The first half hour averaged 23.6 million viewers, but the second half hour dropped down to 19.1 million viewers.
What about the other networks? Most of
those that didn’t tune into the Fox reality hour, or cable news to watch
the Iowa Caucus results, seemed to have opted for two hours of NBC’s “Fear
Factor”, which brought in an average of 12.9 million viewers.