Home Celebrity “American Idol” Comes Back Stronger than Last Season, Weaker Than Ever Before

Good news and bad news. “American Idol” returned last night way up from its season final last summer. The newly re-jiggered show had a 4.7 rating in the demo and over 15 million viewers.

The good news: “Idol” beat every show on the air last night by miles. It also was significantly up from the 3.6 rating of the season finale last year.

The bad news: these new numbers are the worst for an “American Idol” premiere ever. But that was to be expected. The show pretty much crashed and burned last year.

Now we’ve got Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr, two good guys, with Jennifer Lopez, our house diva, and Randy Jackson — the heart and soul of “Idol” –lurking about as a mentor. If they’ve found some great new kids, this should work.

Someone pointed this out to me recently: in all these years, the only actual stars to emerge from any competition have come from “Idol.” No winner from “The Voice” has ever done as well as Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, et al. So let’s keep that in mind.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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