Rating the Ratings: With many years of steep declines came a change in scheduling for American Idol in 2014-15, and that change mucks up the above averages. The show didn't even air a Thursday original after March 19, and it was more like -20% just comparing the same episodes on the calendar. The Wednesday run was closer to apples-to-apples, but there were two big factors: 1) the show clearly got a lot of help early in the season from pre-tune to the new gigahit Empire; but 2) those early-season episodes played a lesser role in the final average since they were only one hour.
Conveniently, these two factors almost exactly cancel out; comparing its 1.53 Wednesday average after Empire's finale with the 1.99 starting from that date last year produces the same -23%. Overall, the show did slow its declines somewhat compared with the last few seasons, but that's not saying much. And it's hard to feel too kind about a season that got Fox to announce the next one will be the last. Grade: D+.
Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for American Idol.