"American Idol" returned to Fox on Wednesday night, with as much attention fixed on the new judges panel as how this latest retooling might help stem several years of steep ratings losses.
The verdict is in, and Fast Affiliate returns have "American Idol" premiering its 13th season to an average 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 15 million viewers. That's down 23 percent from last year's opener in the key demo -- which brought a 6.0 rating among adults 18-49 and just a shade over 17.9 million viewers.
"American Idol" could still move up a few notches in final ratings, which will be available later in the day.
The 13th season of American Idol sees judge Jennifer Lopez returning and Harry Connick Jr. joining the panel after last year's reboot with Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey failed to improve viewership.
In "Idol's" corner, it was up 28 percent from last year's finale (3.6 adults). And the series gave Fox the highest-rated non-sports night of the season -- excluding sports and the Golden Globes.
This story is an abridged version of a post that originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter -- click here for the full story.