How Many People Watched American Idol's Finale? Lots!

By Tim Surette

May 27, 2011

... The finale of American Idol happened last night, as if you didn't know, and a lot of people tuned in. How many? An average of 29.3 million, up more than 20 percent from last season. At its peak (probably during the crowning of the new Idol), 38.6 million people were tuned-in. So much for this season marking the beginning of the end for the series. It's the first time in five years that the show has seen an increase in audience. [TV Line]

... British actress Saffron Burrows (coolest name in show biz?) is leaving her role as the female lead in Fox's upcoming Bones spin-off The Finder. Producers are "re-conceiving" her character, which is a nice way of saying getting rid of her. Elsewhere, Beverly D'Angelo is being recast on NBC's Whitney. [EW]

... Weeds' next season debuts on June 27, and when it returns it's going to look a lot different. Actors Martin Short and Aidan Quinn are joining the series as an eccentric lawyer and the CEO of an investment firm, respectively. The show will also be changing cities and moving the clock forward, joining Nancy three years in the future as she lives out her probation in New York City. [TV Line]

... HBO GO, the online and mobile extension of HBO, will be debuting the first three minutes of the upcoming season of True Blood starting this Sunday. It's only available for HBO subscribers though, so everyone else will have to wait until June 26. [The Live Feed]

... Oprah said goodbye to The Oprah Winfrey Show this week, and her followers watched. The final episode, which aired on Wednesday afternoon, drew a 13.3 household rating, which equates to approximately 17-18 million people. [TV By the Numbers]

... Bravo is moving forward with a new reality show centered on former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, proving that TV is running out of people to make reality shows about. The show, which is called Kara, will follow her while she does whatever it is that she does. [EW]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • titan4lizife May 30, 2011

    Just give that new 'Finder' character a dictionary and she'll be fine.

  • DC-Dude May 27, 2011

    I'm still on Team Pia.

  • CJ42090 May 27, 2011

    The numbers for American idol surprise me considering how indifferent people were about the final two and the general lack of buzz surrounding it. I can't help but wonder if all of the guest performers drew in some numbers. The last couple of season finales didn't exactly have huge celebrities so maybe the likes of Gaga, Beyonce, Carrie Underwood and Bono drew in some viewers.

  • SeaShel333 May 27, 2011

    Hockeyrick - I couldn't have said it any better!
    Networks only looking for $$$$ and not quality television. In this age of on demand and private programming, it will come back to bite them in the a-- I don't get it but America loves these reality shows ad nausem. That being said, I do watch The Biggest Loser, not because I want to see fat people lose weight but to watch their journey and the epiphanies the last few weeks. A slow development of personal growth and self esteem. A wonderful message for anyone who is (or should be) on, starting or pondering their own journey. But nonsense like the Bachelor and hours upon hours of other Reality Shows. C'mon. Exception. Although I don't watch, I understand peoples love of dance and music. But how many Vampire shows do we need?
    Too many poor sitcoms competing for our attention. Who has the time to even check them out? People with no life beyond the TV, I guess.

  • DavidJackson8 May 27, 2011

    Ugh, 3 years into the future? Damn it Weeds, damn it.

  • toridawson May 27, 2011

    A lot of the viewers were watching for
    both Gaga & Beyonce.

    People were hoping they were performing their 2 songs together
    but they performed their latest signals.

    I was one of the people watching solely for Beyonce & Gaga

  • hockeyrick May 27, 2011

    No matter what they do to Weeds, it should have dies a nice death after season 2, now its just prolong absurdity!!!
    American Idol? How retarded all the amateur Superstar show makers are! Including all the stupid dancing and whatever shows. What are the demographics that sit at home and watch dancing??? And not even GOGO dancing!

  • CharmedOneP391 May 27, 2011


    Weeds is moving 3 years into the future? (not that I minded..but you might wanna put up a spoiler warning for people who might bi+ch at you for it) thats crazy the rest of the cast still on the show?

  • lazarius12 May 27, 2011

    AI is crap. Plus Survivor got twice that amount at the end of it's first season.

  • bostero2 May 27, 2011

    Just a colorful detail; the Finale was showed live on Latin America (on Sony Entertainment Television, a cable network) for the first time and from Twitter's Trending Topics I can tell you that it was one of the most watched shows on cable.

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