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EDITIONS
Friday, 6 September, 2002, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Viewers flock to Idol finale
Kelly Clarkson on the Jay Leno show
The Idol winner has become an instant celebrity
The finale of TV talent show American Idol attracted almost 23 million viewers to the Fox network, the broadcaster's best figures for more than two years.

More than 40 million viewers watched at least some part of the two-hour broadcast on Wednesday, pulling in one in three adults aged between 18 and 49.


There are almost no words to describe how we feel about the show and the numbers

Mike Darnell, Fox
Twenty-eight million people were watching the show when Kelly Clarkson was announced as the overall winner.

The finale was Fox's most-watched non-sport programme in two and a half years and the network's best summer performer in 12 years.

'Thrilled'

The viewing figures will be particularly pleasing to advertisers, who spent heavily to secure slots around the high-profile programme.

The success of the programme has convinced record executives to bring forward the release of the winner's single, Before Your Love and A Moment Like This, to 17 September.

Kelly Clarkson
Clarkson won over the voting audience
"I'm more than thrilled," said Fox reality chief Mike Darnell. "There are almost no words to describe how we feel about the show and the numbers."

Creator Simon Fuller, who launched the original UK Pop Idol, said the show proved there was not as "much difference between countries as people think".

Votes

"If it's a great idea, it's a global idea. And a show that really involves the hearts and minds of a nation can have an immense effect."

Some 15.5m votes were cast by telephone with 58% of American Idol viewers in favour of Clarkson over her rival, Justin Guarini, a one-time door-to-door salesman.

The final showdown took place at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, home to the Academy Awards.

See also:

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