ABC’s ‘American Idol’ suffers all-time ratings low despite leading into James Comey interview

ABC’s revised edition of “American Idol” reportedly dropped to a new all-time ratings low on Sunday night despite being the lead in for the network’s highly anticipated James Comey interview with George Stephanopoulos.

“American Idol” picked up a dismal 1.3 rating/5 share in the key demographic of adults age 18-49, a new all-time low for the franchise including the original run on Fox, according to TheWrap.

ABC’s “Idol” averaged 6.3 million viewers, while the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Reba McEntire, helped CBS win the evening, averaging a 2.1/8 and 12 million viewers.

Television critic Marc Berman recently wrote that “smaller than expected returns for this ABC reboot may not justify the high costs of producing it” and that was before “Idol” reached an all-time low.

Meanwhile, Comey’s Trump-bashing sit down with Stephanopoulos followed “Idol” with 9.8 million viewers, which is a respectable numbers but pales in comparison to the enormous audience that tuned in to see adult film actress Stormy Daniels chat with “60 Minutes” late last month.

“’American Idol’ didn’t help ABC’s effort,” TheWrap ratings guru Tony Maglio wrote.

ABC’s version of the once-canceled singing competition show is reportedly the most expensive season yet. According to the Wall Street Journal, the celebrity stars for the revived show are being paid 60 percent more than in previous seasons. Katy Perry is raking in a reported $25 million for the season, while host Ryan Seacrest and judge Luke Bryan are each making $12 million. Lionel Richie is being paid a reported $10 million for his participation.

Meanwhile, the “Idol” stars earning the biggest paychecks have been polarizing for viewers. The original “Idol” turned Seacrest into a superstar, but the ABC host has been dogged by accusations of sexual harassment leveled by his former stylist for “E! News.” Seacrest has denied all allegations. 

Perry recently upset viewers when she tricked an unsuspecting male contestant into kissing her on the lips. The contestant later told The New York Times that the “Idol” judge made him feel uncomfortable because he was raised with conservative values and wanted his first kiss to be special. She is also battling poor publicity arising from a legal battle with an nun over a convent Perry wants to convert into a luxury estate. 

ABC’s “American Idol” has a chance to redeem itself on Monday but media watchdogs shouldn’t hold their breath, as NBC’s “The Voice” has prevailed each time they’d faced off in 2018.

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.

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