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Given the still-respectable 11-million viewers who have been tuning in every week to watch “American Idol” this season, the biggest question surrounding Thursday’s series finale is whether the show is really going away. At least for very long.
Of course, not long ago, many of us were asking why “American Idol” was still on the air, considering its steep audience decline in the years after original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson departed.
At its peak, “American Idol” was averaging an estimated 30.7 million viewers per telecast, according to Nielsen. That was season five (2005-06), which still featured the original trio. By season 14 (2014-15), only an estimated 10.9 million viewers were bothering with Jennifer Lopez; Keith Urban; and Harry Connick, Jr. That is a staggering loss of 19.8 million viewers. In all, only about one-third of that peak audience was tuning in last season
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