"American Idol" made a strong debut Wednesday night, but failed to garner the same viewership it had in past seasons. According to figures released Thursday morning, the reality singing competition lost 19 percent of its viewers.
With a revamped judging panel, including the additions of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban, the show pulled in 17.81 million viewers Wednesday. In comparison, last year's premiere, which featured Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, drew 21.9 million viewers.
Despite the drop in viewership, "American Idol" still ranks as the highest draw amongst reality singing competitions. "The Voice," while it is a formidable competitor, has yet to reach this high of a tally, but did pull in just over 12 million viewers in September.
"American Idol" will continue its two-night premiere tonight, featuring highlights from auditions held last year.
"American Idol" airs Wednesday and Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.