American Idol 's premiere ratings were as high as that goofy barefoot singer seemed to be.
Although Univision has been added to the list of rated Nielsen networks in the fast affiliate overnight numbers, Fox's powerhouse still managed to beat all other networks--now six--combined, averaging a 15.2 rating/34 share in the 18-49 demo in Nielsen's Fast Affiliate overnight ratings for its two-hour premiere.
That 18-49 number is well ahead of the 14/33 it recorded with its fourth-season premiere last January. The show, featuring an especially curious mix of singers from the Chicago tryout, also topped last year's premiere in total viewers, with an average of 35.4 million vs. last year's record 33.4 million.
That compares to 28.6 million for the 2004 premiere, 26.5 million for 2003 and only 9.8 million for 2002.
By contrast, ABCCBSNBCWUNIUPNWB averaged a 14/29 for the night.
Idol peaked at a stratospheric 17.1/36, suggesting the show has not lost any steam in its fifth incarnation.
CBS was second with a 3.7/8. Although it launched its heavily promoted new show, Love Monkey, at 10, its top show in the demo was actually a new NCIS at 8-9 (3.9/4).
Love Monkey averaged a 3.5/9 for second place behind NBC's Law & Order: SVU (5.9/14), but somewhat troubling for the net, its rating dropped a half-point from a 3.7/9 at 10-10:30 to a 3.2/8 at 10:30-11.
NBC was a close third for the night at a 3.6/8, with SVU its top show, followed by ABC in fourth with a 2.5/6. Its top show was Boston Legal, with a 3.3/8 at 10 p.m.
The WB and Univision tied at a 1.9/4, Univision for its soaps and WB for Gilmore Girls and Supernatural.
UPN was seventh with a hardly-moved-the-needle .4/1 for back-to-back repeats of South Beach.