Last year, ABC managed a feat that some of its broadcast rivals had doubted would be possible: successfully reviving American Idol, which had previously aired for 15 seasons on Fox.
While the new iteration wasn’t the megahit it had been early in its Fox run, the show performed solidly for ABC last season.
Its Sunday episodes averaged a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demo, and drew 9.6 million total viewers, while the Monday episodes averaged a 2.0 demo rating and 9.5 million total viewers (all ratings are in live-plus-7).
Last May, the Idol finale actually beat its music competition rival, NBC’s The Voice, in the demo.
Now, as a new season premieres on Sunday, ABC is shifting its focus from reviving and reestablishing the brand, as it did last spring, to expanding it this year, in part by focusing more on celeb judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as well as host Ryan Seacrest.
First off: an increase in episodes that aired live, coast to coast.