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"American Idol" hits a ratings low

A recent time slot switch is not paying dividends for Fox's lurching "American Idol."

The Nielsen company says "Idol" last Thursday reached a smaller audience than for all but one week during its rookie season in the summer of 2002. The 8.4 million viewers barely qualified the show for Nielsen's top 20.

Experts blame viewer fatigue for the ratings, a factor common for long-running shows. Fox recently moved "American Idol" to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, trying to boost its audience. It also tapped Harry Connick Jr. as a new judge this season to join Keith Urban and a returning Jennifer Lopez.

"American Idol" has launched the careers of many top stars, including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. But its popularity has slowed in recent years.

Among competition shows, both "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Voice" had bigger audiences last week.

"The X Factor" is one reality competition series that won't be returning.

Tell us: Are you still interested in watching "American Idol"?

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