American Idol ratings holding up

Simon Cowell may have left American Idol, but he didn't take many viewers with him.

If Fox's rivals had hopes that the tough-talking British judge's exit would do serious damage to the talent competition, they've been dashed. American Idol remains television's most dominant prime-time show, and its two editions last week easily topped anything else on the air.

The Nielsen Co. said that the show is averaging 25.1 million viewers this season, down just under 2 percent from last year's 25.5 million, despite losing its dominant personality. Cowell and fellow judge Kara DioGuardi were replaced by professional musicians Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

Fox won in the prime-time ratings for the third straight week.

- AP

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