Page last updated at 09:18 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 10:18 UK

Idol finale viewing figures drop

Adam Lambert and Kris Allen
Kris Allen (right) was crown this year's winner

This year's American Idol finale drew its lowest ratings in the US since 2004, according to early figures.

An estimated 28.8m viewers watched the two-hour show on Wednesday which saw 23-year-old student Kris Allen crowned the winner of the singing contest.

The figure is down from the 32m who watched the finale last year, but the programme remains the most watched TV show in the US.

A record number of almost 100m votes were cast by viewers this year.

Increased competition

American Idol audiences have slipped to an average 26.3m per twice weekly episode over the five-month broadcast, compared to a 2006 high of about 30.8m.

It comes despite producers adding a fourth judge, songwriter Kara DioGuardi, and slightly changing the format in a bid to keep the show fresh.

The drop is now raising questions about the future of some of the show's key players.

Judge Simon Cowell, who commutes weekly across the Atlantic while filming UK reality shows X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, has discussed leaving when his contract expires in May 2010.

He has already said he would want to leave American Idol if it was toppled from its six-year reign at the top on US TV.

The declining ratings reflect a general fall-off in US TV viewing in the past two years, which is being blamed on increased competition from computer games and the internet.

Print Sponsor

American Idol winner is crowned
21 May 09 |  Entertainment
Idol winner tops country awards
06 Apr 09 |  Entertainment
Idol rule change draws criticism
13 Mar 09 |  Entertainment
Talking Shop: David Archuleta
24 Feb 09 |  Entertainment
Songwriter joins Idol judge panel
26 Aug 08 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific