Idol Gives Back Special Dominates Wednesday Viewing
Idol Gives Back , a kind of charity telethon featuring numerous celebrity guest performances combined with the regular results episode of American Idol , averaged 18.4 million viewers during the 8 00-10 00 p.m. time period on Fox Wednesday night. The telecast, hosted by Queen Latifah, ran over into the 10 00 p.m. hour some 24 minutes, but viewing for the extended period was apparently not tracked by Nielsen since Fox does not schedule regular programming past 10 00 p.m. (In past years, pretaped performances by some celebrities were cut from the show and aired at a later date in order to end it on time.) The special drew more viewers than it did in 2008 when 17.6 million tuned in -- but far fewer than it did in 2007, its first year, when it drew 26.4 million. Idol Gives Back did not air in 2009 because producers said they feared that the recession would prevent many people from making charitable contributions.