Tuesday's return of "American Idol" drew 33.2 million viewers -- down from last year but still nothing to sneeze at.

The mega-series was down 11% in viewership when it premiered to 37.4 million viewers on Jan. 16, 2007, according to preliminary estimates released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. It was the lowest premiere in viewership since Season 3 on Jan. 20, 2004, though the number is still much higher than any other series on TV.

"Idol" was down 13% in adults 18-49 -- with similar declines in adults 18-34 and adults 25-54 -- with a 13.8 rating/32 share, Nielsen said. Last year's premiere averaged a 15.8/36 in the demo. It was close to the 14/33 that the fifth season premiere did on Jan. 18, 2005.

Viewership rose steadily throughout its two-hour premiere with 28.7 million viewers at 8 p.m. jumping to 35.9 million by 9:30 p.m.