Quack attack! After three days' worth of DVR usage was included, the A&E hit's season premiere on Aug. 14 drew a whopping 16.3 million viewers. "This show reaches a big swath of America," says David McKillop, A&E's executive vice president of programming. "This is not a boutique or niche show."
Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN
How have viewers responded to the tumult in TV so far in 2011? Here's what the Nielsen ratings tell us.
With the show going in to its 10th season, without Simon Cowell, industry insiders thought Idol could crash and burn. It hasn't happened. Through February 16, the show has averaged 25.2 million total viewers, down only 9 percent. "We feel it's a victory," says Fox executive vice president Preston Beckman, who credits the performance of new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. "We succeeded in reinventing the panel," he adds.