American Idol premiere on ABC is least-watched in history

Scheduling the Simpson special at the same time as the "American Idol" debut was widely seen as Fox's attempt to prevent its former headlining series from getting off to a fast start for ABC.

"American Idol" had a solid return to network television Sunday night after a almost two-year hiatus.

"American Idol" feels like the show we knew and loved", added Nick Paschal of Yahoo Entertainment, noting that the "talent level was pretty high during the premiere".

The new "American Idol", hosted by Ryan Seacrest, airs Sundays and Mondays on ABC at 8 p.m. Auditions continue tonight with judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

Though the singing competition helped ABC to win the night in viewers (8.2 million) and in the key 18-49 demographic (1.7 rating), Idol saw its lowest-rated season premiere ever, falling 23 percent from its prior season premiere (3.0 in January of 2016) on Fox. Before last night's reboot, those two hours of ABC's Sunday night roster served as a placeholder for the 28-year-old "America's Funniest Home Videos" and the transplanted "Shark Tank". "News" stylist, which was enough to make Best Actress nominees at the Oscars avoid his red-carpet interviews just a week earlier. The average viewership for Fox's final season was 9.4 million viewers.

"Idol" also faced some stiff competition in the guise of AMC's "The Walking Dead".

The real test for "Idol" will be on Monday's when it goes up against NBC's The Voice.

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