American Idol Six: Record-Breaking Ratings Continue

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American Idol Six: Record-Breaking Ratings Continue
The parade of awful amateurs on American Idol attracted viewers in staggering numbers this week as the series continues to grow in popularity.

An estimated 36.9 million people watched the two-hour special on FOX Wednesday night, only slightly down from the 37.3 million who tuned in for Tuesday's two-hour season premiere, according to Nielsen Media Research.

They were the two biggest nights of prime-time entertainment on FOX since it came onto the air nearly two decades ago.

"We're fortunate it's on our air and we take good care of it and it rewards us with good ratings," said Preston Beckman, Fox's executive vice president for strategic planning.

The audience for what host Ryan Seacrest dubbed "the weirdest turnout in history" on Wednesday was 17 percent bigger than the corresponding night a year ago, Nielsen said.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.