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[01/18/06 - 12:00 AM]
5th Season Launch of American Idol Delivers Highest Premiere Ratings Ever

[via press release from FOX]

5th Season Launch of American Idol Delivers Highest Premiere Ratings Ever

Idol is #1 Entertainment Program of 2005-2006 Season Over 55.3 Million Viewers Tune in to First Episode

Los Angeles, Jan. 18, 2006 - Last night, the 5th season kickoff of AMERICAN IDOL delivered it�s best premiere ratings ever among Adults 18-49 (15.3/34), Adults 18-34 (14.7/36) and Total Viewers (35.5 Mil).

Compared to last year�s premiere (on 1/18/05), AMERICAN IDOL is up +9% among Adults 18-49 (15.3/34 vs. 14.0/33), +3% among Adults 18-34 (14.7/36 vs. 14.3/37) and +6% in Total Viewers (35.5 vs. 33.6 Mil). According to Nielsen's "FAST TA� (Total Audience) figures, over 55.3 million viewers watched all or part of the American Idol Season 5 premiere on FOX.

The premiere of AMERICAN IDOL gave FOX its highest rated night EVER with entertainment programming among Total Viewers and its second highest rated night among Adults 18-49 (behind only the Joe Millionaire finale on 2/17/03). In addition, last night�s AMERICAN IDOL was the most-watched entertainment program of the 2005-2006 season to date.

Peter Liguori, President of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting was obviously impressed. �To say we are surprised and pleased by last night's numbers would be a major understatement,� said Liguori. �The fact that AMERICAN IDOL is seeing its biggest premiere numbers ever -- especially considering it�s in its fifth season -- is nothing less than astounding. Everyone at FOX is incredibly proud of this success and we want to congratulate the entire production team, Ryan, Paula, Randy and Simon on yet another amazing performance. We look forward to another strong night tonight with another episode of �American Idol� and the premiere of Skating with Celebrities."

AMERICAN IDOL also delivered its second highest rated telecast EVER among Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Total Viewers, behind only the American Idol season 2 finale on 5/21/03. Additionally, last night the season premiere of AMERICAN IDOL outperformed the combined 5-network competition on a total primetime basis by an incredible +26% among Adults 18-49 (15.3 vs. 12.1), +43% among Adults 18-34 (14.7 vs. 10.3), +108% among Teens (13.7 vs. 6.6) and the combined 3-network competition by +15% in Total Viewers (35.5 vs. 31.0 Mil).

Last night�s AMERICAN IDOL premiere is the highest rated primetime program of the 05/06 season (including entertainment and sports programming) among Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Teens. It�s the highest rated prime entertainment telecast on any network in over a year and a half (since the Friends series finale on 5/6/04) among Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34.





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