The crowning of Lee DeWyze as the ninth season "American Idol" champ drew 24.2 million total viewers Wednesday night, down 15.9% from the 28.8 million that watched Kris Allen take the title in 2009, according to numbers provided by Nielsen Media Research.

It's the lowest-rated season finale for the show since the first season, when Kelly Clarkson was named champion. That finale earned 22.7 million viewers. The highest-rated finale happened in 2003, when Ruben Studdard won and 38 million viewers watched.

The show's viewership on Wednesday night jumped dramatically in the second hour when the winner was revealed, according to tvbythenumbers.com; 19.7 million watched the 8 p.m. - 9 p.m. timeslot, while 26.5 million tuned in for the 9 p.m. to 10:07 p.m. hour, including the show's overrun.

Despite the year-over-year decrease, "Idol" easily won the night; CBS's "Criminal Minds" in the 9 p.m. Hour was its closest competitor with 12.8 million viewers.