Idol Finally Goes Down To Defeat
The contestants on American Idol proved to be no match for the likes of Linsey Vonn, Shani Davis, and Shaun White, who captured the gold at the Winter Olympics Wednesday night. While NBC's coverage of their victories drew 30.1 million viewers in the 9 00 p.m. hour, only 18.4 million watched American Idol. While an audience of 18.4 million would ordinarily be cheered by most producers, for Idol 's it represented the first loss since May 2004 and the smallest audience since 2003. For Wednesday night, NBC's Olympics coverage averaged 29.4 million viewers, making it the highest-rated night so far. On Thursday night, the Olympics averaged 25.3 million viewers, peaking in the 9 30 p.m. half-hour with 28.8 million -- and it clobbered everything else in sight. Its strongest competitor was CBS's Survivor Heroes vs. Villains with a solid 11.94 million viewers at 8 00 p.m. versus the Olympics' 24.1 million.