Idol Way Up Down Under

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Fox must be counting the days until its New Year launch of the next round of American Idol, particularly after news out of Australia about that country's Idol final.

According to FremantleMedia, Network Ten's audience for last weekend's show that crowned Casey Donovan Australia's Idol peaked at 3.47 million.

That number might be enough to get a Hawaii or Dr. Vegas canned in the states, but in Australia, where the total population is only about 20 million, that amounts to a 67.5% share of total viewers and a whopping 74.1% of the key 16-39 demo.

The broadcast was the top-rated of the year for Australia. It is the second installment of Idol in Australia, which is produced by Grundy Television.

American Idol launches its fourth contest Jan. 18, but Fox is looking to start peaking interest with a Nov. 24 Idol holiday special featuring past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, and Fantasia Barrino.

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