'American Idol' Sees Rise In Swan Song Finale
Fox's (NASDAQ: FOXA) "American Idol" ended its reign Thursday night and did so in grand fashion.
The two-hour send-off which featured the return of the majority of big name contestants and judges hit nearly 13 million viewers and a strong 3.0 rating in 18-49 demo. This marks the show's best finale numbers since Season 12 when it hit 14.3 million viewers and a 3.6 demo.
Analysts were expecting Fox to earn higher ratings for the capper which hit new lows last year with 8 million viewers. Of course at its best "Idol's" finale drew 38.1 million during its second season and has slowly declined over its 15 year run.
"Idol" debuted in 2002 during the summer season and immediately became a pop culture phenomenon with Fox moving it to the regular season the following year. Unlike NBC which airs back-to-back seasons of its hit "The Voice," Fox wanted to make sure it didn't overexpose the series.
The problem was that while Fox didn't force multiple editions in a season it did force multiple expanded episodes. Two-hour long result shows and expanded audition episodes began to wear down audiences which eventually grew tired of the show.
However this farewell season was rich in "Idol" nostalgia and reminded the industry exactly what a dominant impact the reality juggernaut had during its time. As teased by creator Simon Fuller last night's finale may just be a goodbye for now as rumors have swirled the show will return at some point down the line.
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