The "American Idol" Season 12 premiere ratings are in and ... they aren't as high as last year.
The two-hour premiere which introduced viewers to the new judging panel of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson had 17.8 million viewers and a 6.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
While the program won the night for Fox, it was down nearly 17 percent compared to the Season 11 debut, which had 21.9 million viewers and a 7.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
However, "Idol" premiere ratings still beat the recent September 2012 premiere of "The Voice." When "The Voice" kicked off its third season, 12.3 million viewers tuned in, and it notched scored a 4.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
The two-night Season 12 premiere of "American Idol" continues on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.