‘Idol’ Ratings Plummet

Danny Moloshok / AP Photo

From left to right, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest participate in the American Idol panel at the Fox Broadcasting Company Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena , Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012.

The people have spoken—American Idol had fewer viewers for its Wednesday debut than last year, though it held its spot as the most-watched show of the night. The showcase of musical talent continues to keep Americans spellbound, and drew 21.9 million viewers as it entered its 11th season. There’s little indication that Idol, which has earned pride of place on Fox’s schedule, will be veering from its winning formula this go-round. Last year’s premiere gained a boost from buzz about Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez joining veteran Randy Jackson in the judges’ chairs.