‘American Idol’ Is Now 3rd-Rated Competition Show

Television’s champion for nearly a decade, Fox’s “American Idol,” now isn’t even the most popular competition show on the air.

Both editions of “The Voice” on NBC and “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC had larger audiences than “Idol” last week, the Nielsen Co. said. “Idol” has been the most popular entertainment program in prime time for nine years running and appears likely to lose that perch this season.

“The Voice” had 14.2 million viewers last Monday and 12.8 million on Tuesday, Nielsen said. Its showing was more impressive among the 19- to 49-year-old viewers that NBC most actively seeks; the shows ranked No. 1 and 3 on that measurement last week.

Photo: Michael Becker/AP Photo/FOX
Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj and during a news conference in New York.

“American Idol” had 12.5 million viewers on Wednesday and 11.4 million on Thursday, Nielsen said. Among the younger demographic, “Idol” outpaces “Dancing With the Stars.”

The most popular show on television this season so far is CBS’ “NCIS,” and it was the same story last week: The drama led with 17.3 million viewers.

CBS won the week in prime time with an average of 8.7 million viewers (5.6 rating, 9 share). ABC had 6.4 million viewers (4.2, 7), Fox had 6.1 million (3.7, 6), NBC had 5.1 million (3.3, 5), the CW had 1.4 million (0.9, 1) and ION Television had 1.1 million (0.8, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.4 million viewership average (1.8, 3). Telemundo had 1.5 million (0.8, 1), UniMas had 510,000 (0.3, 0), Estrella had 210,000 and Azteca 90,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.1 million viewers (5.6, 11). ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.5 million (5.2, 11) and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.4 million viewers (3.9, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of April 22-28, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “NCIS,” CBS, 17.33 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 15.1 million; “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 14.22 million; “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 14.15 million; “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC, 13.77 million; “Person of Interest,” CBS, 13.22 million; “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 12.78 million; “Dancing With the Stars Results,” ABC, 12.65 million; “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 12.46 million; and “Castle” ABC, 11.76 million.