Is American Idol really on its way out? This early in the season, the ratings juggernaut is showing chinks in its previously infallible armor, as rival procedural NCIS is starting to gain ground against it.
While Idol still won the night on Tuesday last week, its Los Angeles audition episode was down 12 percent, resulting to 24.2 million viewers. NCIS, meanwhile, while also slightly down, reeled in 20.2 mil, resulting in the closest margin yet between the two shows.
In fact, NCIS appears to have more promise in terms of growth, as the Mark Harmon-led series registered a 12 percent jump in viewers (16 percent in the all-important 18-49 demo), while the soon-to-be-Cowell-less Idol managed a teeny 3 percent increase in viewers (4 percent in the same demo).
It's important to note that numbers for NCIS continue to rise, something unprecedented for a series that is on its seventh season.
A word of caution to die-hard NCIS fans, however, since Idol numbers are known to swell once the top 12 is determined and the competition progresses to themed weeks. So no celebrating just yet, CBS. But nevertheless, good job.