The fourth-season premiere of Fox's "American Idol" on Jan. 18 drew massive ratings, up 16% from last year's third-season premiere. According to Nielsen Media Research, the new episode scored a 18.3 r

The fourth-season premiere of Fox's "American Idol" on Jan. 18 drew massive ratings, up 16% from last year's third-season premiere. According to Nielsen Media Research, the new episode scored a 18.3 rating/27 share, or 33.6 million U.S. viewers. The third-season premiere drew 29 million U.S. viewers.

According to reports, it was the third-highest ratings night of entertainment programming in Fox's history.

This season of "American Idol" features some changes, including guest judges during the audition process. The semifinals and finals will be split among gender lines, with an equal number of men and women. Guest judges will include Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray, Brandy, Gene Simmons of Kiss, LL Cool J and Kenny Loggins.