This year's "American Idol" season 10 finale was up 9 percent in the demo and 17 percent in total viewers from 2010, according to preliminary numbers.
It rated an 8.9 in the all-important 18 to 49 demo, with 28.2 million viewers. Last year, 24.2 million tuned in.
This is the first time "American Idol" has shown year-to-year growth for the finale in the key demo since 2006, and since 2008 in total viewers.
Wednesday's finale beat the "Dancing With the Stars" finale Tuesday by 32 percent in total viewers. However, the finale of "Dancing With the Stars" beat the penultimate "American Idol" episode Tuesday night.