According to The Hollywood Reporter, American Idol had a monster season premiere Tuesday night, coming back with a vengeance to become the show's highest opener ever with more than 35 million viewers. That propelled Fox to a historic night, its highest ratings ever for entertainment programming in total viewers and, among adults 18-49, second only to the Joe Millionaire finale on Feb. 17, 2003.
The fifth-season premiere averaged 35.5 million viewers and a 15.2 rating/34 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. That was up 6% in total viewers and up 9% in the demo compared to last year's premiere of 33.6 million viewers and a 14.0/33. It also scored big among adults 18-34, averaging 14.7/36 compared to the 14.3/37 a year ago.