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American Idol's 10th Season Premiere -- Fewer People Watched, But Still #1

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Jan. 20 2011, Published 12:30 p.m. ET

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See -- we do miss you Simon!

While the 10th season premiere of American Idol blew away its competition on the other three networks Wednesday night -- with 26.1 million total viewers-- it was down 13 percent among total viewers from last year's season opener, according to figures just released by the Nielsen Co.

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Year-to-year, Wednesday night's opener was also down 18 percent among viewers aged 18-49 -- a key demographic for advertisers.

Last year, 29.9 million viewers watched the first episode of Idol, which would be Simon Cowell's final season with the hit Fox show. That was also the season that Ellen DeGeneres joined the panel as a judge.

Here's a look at the number of viewers --in millions -- for Idol's season openers since it first launched ten years ago:

Season 1: 9.9

Season 2: 26.5

Season 3: 28.56

Season 4: 33.58

Season 5: 35.53

Season 6: 37.4

Season 7: 33.4

Season 8: 30.4

Season 9: 29.8

Season 10: 26.1

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