The Golden Age of American Idol Is Over

The ratings are in for America Idol's two-part premiere this week and the numbers aren't good. It's average ratings among 18-44 year-olds (the only people the universe cares about) dropped 44% from two years ago. Yeah, that's almost half.

On Wednesday night the first half hour of Idol tied with Big Bang Theroy. Yes, even CBS sitcoms are threatening Idol's supremacy. In total viewers it didn't fare too badly. It averaged 18 million on Thursday, down from 22.9 million a year ago, but even that is down from its almost 40 million heyday. Still most shows would kill for 18 million, but it looks like Idol is more like fat, drugged out Elvis in a jumpsuit than his smooth, slick, money making younger self.

There are a million reasons for this (it's old, there are million imitators, the judges all left, Ryan Seacrest is annoying, the winners haven't been that great, Steven Tyler has man boobs) but this is the first sound of its death rattle.

[Image via Getty]