An estimated 30.1 million people watched the season debut of "American Idol" on Tuesday night, making it the most-watched prime-time show of the TV season so far.
Nielsen Media Research said that audience is down 10 percent from the 33.4 million who watched the season opener of the Fox network show in 2008. The 37.4 million who watched the 2007 debut represents the series' high point.
The most-watched prime-time entertainment show this season had been the first episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" on Oct. 9, with 23.5 million viewers. The Indianapolis-San Diego NFL playoff on Jan. 3, with 27.8 million, was the overall high-water mark before "American Idol."