Fox’s ‘American Idol’ wrapped its ninth season before an average audience of 24.2 million total viewers – the second-smallest turnout for an ‘Idol’ finale ever.
Only the Season 1 finale, which aired during the summer, attracted fewer viewers (22.8 million).
At the close of the finale, when a new champ was crowned, ‘Idol’ was playing to 28.8 million viewers versus last year’s 35.6 million.
Year-to-year, the ‘Idol’ finale was down 16 percent in viewers and 18 percent in the coveted 18-to-49 demo. In fact, last night’s 8.2 rating in the 18-to-49 demo marks an all-time low for one of the show’s finales.
Throughout this season – one marked by lackluster finalists and the replacement of Paula Abdul with Ellen DeGeneres – ‘Idol’ was down a somewhat typical 9 percent.
This year’s finale labored to offset the buzz-anemic competition with an appearance by Paula Abdul, to bid Simon Cowell adieu, and guest performers such as Bret Michaels, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera and Alanis Morissette.