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'American Idol' Ratings: 'The Voice' Tops Veteran Competition Series

American Idol Ratings

First Posted: 02/ 9/2012 1:42 pm Updated: 02/ 9/2012 5:18 pm

Is "American Idol's" reign over after 11 seasons?

The Wed., Feb. 8 show earned a 6.0 rating in the advertiser's coveted 18-49 demographic, which was not enough to beat NBC's "The Voice" this week.

On Mon., Feb. 6, "The Voice" pulled in a 6.7 rating in the demographic and 17.7 million viewers total. But the Feb. 8 "Idol" episode -- the first edition of Hollywood Week -- did beat out "The Voice" in total viewers with 18.9 million.

But "The Voice" is closing the gap. Last week, "Idol" had a 6.0 rating in the demo and 18.5 million viewers.

In terms of total viewers in the key 18-49 demographic, 7.7 million viewers tuned into "Idol," while "The Voice" had 8.5 million viewers.

The battle between the two reality series has been brewing since "The Voice" entered the scene in 2011. Earlier this week, "Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told The Hollywood Reporter that though the competitive NBC series has a "fun format," "they need stronger talent -- we'll see.

It was that same argument that "Idol" stars and crew used at the Television Critics Association press tour in January to bash "The Voice." According to TVGuide.com, Longtime "Idol" judge Randy Jackson said:

"'Idol' is still the best TV show that's come on anywhere ... We're the original. We kind of invented this whole game that everybody's now copying -- and I say that they're copying it, right? ... The winner of 'The Voice,' I will remind you, [Javier Colon] was an artist who had a deal at Capitol Records for several years, a failed contract … That show was almost 'second chance people.'"

Adam Levine, "The Voice's" judge-coach who helped lead Colon to victory fired back on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" early in February via EW.com:

"Shame on Randy Jackson for saying that. Because he of anybody should know that if you're in this business, you need second, third, fourth and fifth chances. And so we love and embrace having that being part of the show ... It was an irresponsible thing to say that."

Spats aside, though "Idol" ratings have been slipping, Nigel Lythgoe told THR, "After 11 years, I'm thrilled with these ratings," adding: "Isn't it fantastic that we're still America's No. 1 show?"

The only question is: For how long?

"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox. "The Voice" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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Filed by Chris Harnick  |