`American Idol' off to strong start minus Paula Abdul
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Paula who?
Despite losing judge Paula Abdul, "American Idol" started its ninth season on a high note with an estimated audience of nearly 30 million people
Tuesday's viewership nearly matched last year's season debut audience of 30.4 million, according to preliminary Nielsen Co. figures released Wednesday.
It was the first test of how viewers would respond to "American Idol" without Abdul, who left over a salary despite. Her place is being filled first by celebrity panelists, including Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry, and later this season by new judge Ellen DeGeneres.
"American Idol" faces a bigger challenge next season: judge Simon Cowell announced this week he's leaving to start another talent show, "The X Factor," on Fox.
"Idol" airs a 90-minute episode tonight.
Fergie, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Heidi Klum all get an F on this week's Fashion Offenders.Watch Video »
Diva Double Date
Beyonce and Alicia Keys double date with their famous hubbies on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Where Are They?
See what the cast of "American Beauty" is up to today.Watch Video »
J.Lo's Mini Me
Prince Harry, Jessica Alba and more stars who threw out the first pitch at baseball games.Watch Video »