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January 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It was not an auspicious beginning for the 13th season of Fox’s American Idol on Wednesday night. According to preliminary ratings, the telecast drew 15 million viewers, down 23 percent from last year’s season debut and the lowest-rated start since the show began. Nevertheless, Fox pointed out that last night’s ratings were still significantly better than those for Season 12’s finale. The show averaged 13.2 million for last season, down from 23.1 million in 2011. And Wednesday’s telecast remained well ahead of anything else the competition threw against it. Its nearest competitor was CBS’s Criminal Minds at 9:00 p.m., which averaged 10.47 million viewers. Earlier on Wednesday Fox confirmed that AT&T had decided to end its sponsorship of Idol, presumably because of declining ratings.