'American Idol' Posts Its Least-Watched Finale Yet

10.1 Million Viewers Tune In

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The finale of 'American Idol.'
The finale of 'American Idol.' Credit: Fox

"American Idol" ended a lackluster season on a dismal note, with the least-watched finale in the history of the singing competition.

The crowning of the 13th Idol was watched by 10.1 million viewers, down 29% from last season's finale, though up week-over-week. In the 18-to-49 demo it was also down nearly 28% from the finale of season 12.

"Idol" was bested by ABC's "Modern Family," which drew 10.2 million viewers for its wedding finale.

But it did beat out CBS's "Survivor" finale, which was watched by 9.5 million people. This was the first time "Idol" and "Survivor" finales went head-to-head.

Fox has renewed "Idol" for a 14th season, but viewers should expected a pared-down version next season. Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment for Fox, said last week that he expects "American Idol" to shrink to about 37 hours next season from more than 50 this year. While "Idol" will most likely return for two nights during the audition phase, for most of its run it will likely air for two hours on just one night, Mr. Reilly said.

Smallest 'Voice' finale too
Tuesday's finale of NBC's "The Voice" drew 11 million, its smallest audience for a finale. That's down more than 21% from its December finale and down about 28% from its June 2013 finale.

"The Voice" was up against the finale of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" on Tuesday, which drew 14.9 million viewers.

The first season finale for "Idol," which aired September 2002, attracted 23 million viewers.

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