'American Idol' ABC premiere draws 10.3 million viewers


The revamped "American Idol" had a strong debut on ABC, reaching more than 10 million viewers and shrugging off Fox's attempt to blunt the premiere's impact with its special on O.J. Simpson.

America Idol is officially back.

The new season of American Idol kicked off Sunday night with contestants singing, hoping to make it to the next round.

So, judge Katy Perry invited the teen over to the desk and urged him to plant a kiss on her cheek. So, the only familiar face (that you saw in the previous seasons) is Ryan Seacrest, who has been hosting the show since its conception in 2002.

"American Idol" feels like the show we knew and loved", added Nick Paschal of Yahoo Entertainment, noting that the "talent level was pretty high during the premiere".

The figure is down 23 percent in the 18-49 demo and down from the 10.9 million that tuned in to the "Farewell Season" on Fox as well as down six percent in total viewers from the last season on Fox. Michelle's boots weren't just made for walkin' but dancin' too.

Later in the evening, ABC wisely used "Idol" as a springboard for its new drama "Deception", a high-concept curiosity about a disgraced magician who uses his powers to solve cases for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

As much as ABC's preliminary "Idol" deliveries are reassuring for this day and age, they're all but insignificant in comparison to the Fox-run "Idol" of old. Viewership steadily increased seasons two through seven, seeing its peak in seasons four through eight, when premiere nights drew in 30 million or more viewers.