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Despite Fox's Counterprogramming: Strong Return for 'American Idol

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It was an extra special night for "American Idol" contestant Benjamin Glaze on Sunday night.

Nielsen reported a turnout of 10.34 million viewers for the two-hour "Idol", along with a 2.3 average rating in the key demo of adults 18-49.

American Idol still has clout.

American Idol airs Sunday and Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC. Despite that, it easily won the night for ABC. Lionel Richie, who is on the judges' panel alongside Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, told us that he's been very excited to join the show, and he thinks that enthusiasm will be contagious for the show's viewers. One of the nuns, 89-year-old Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, collapsed and died in court on Friday during a hearing related to the Perry case.

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Fox's presentation of a 2006 Simpson interview, during which he speculated about how he might have killed his former wife, was watched by 4.4 million people.

"Idol" also faced some stiff competition in the guise of AMC's "The Walking Dead".

Later in the evening, ABC wisely used "Idol" as a springboard for its new drama "Deception", a high-concept curiosity about a disgraced magician who uses his powers to solve cases for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A really hot guy walked into the American Idol audition room during the second episode and Katy Perry was instantly infatuated with him! Viewership steadily increased seasons two through seven, seeing its peak in seasons four through eight, when premiere nights drew in 30 million or more viewers.

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