American Idol, Randy Jackson, Kara Dioguardi, Ryan Seacrest, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell

Michael Becker / FOX

Tuesday TV's Big Answered Question: Yes, American Idol is still American Idol. With 30.1 million viewers, per Nielsen estimates, its eighth-season opener was the night's—and the season-to-date's—No.1 telecast.

Up or Down? Compared to the seventh-season premiere, Idol was off 10 percent, the now standard decline for even TV's most successful shows. Compared to last May's David Cook-crowning finale, the show was off 5 percent.

Where Did It Rank Historically? Where most modern-day shows rank historically: not near the top. Among Idol premieres, Tuesday's was the fifth-biggest, or, if you prefer, the fourth-smallest. Unremarkably, it goes down as the least watched premiere since 2004. Remarkably, it goes down as the franchise's fifth straight premiere with at least 30 million viewers.

Free Tip for Idol Contestants: Work the cougar vote. No demo group watched Idol in greater numbers than women 25-54.

Who Didn't Watch Idol? AARP-eligible crime buffs. CBS' NCIS (18.5 million) and The Mentalist (18.1 million) stayed big by dominating among among adults age 50 and older.

The Clobbered: Going up against Idol in the 9 p.m. hour, the CW's Privileged (1.1 million) lost 35 percent of its audience from last week; ABC's Scrubs (4.5 million for back-to-back episodes) saw 33 percent of its viewers flee.

The Merely Pummeled: Going up against Idol in the 8 p.m. hour, the CW's 90210 (2.2 million) was down 21 percent. Going up against both hours of Idol, NBC's The Biggest Loser: Couples (8.8 million) was down 25 percent.

What Did Teen Girls Watch After Idol Was Over? A guy pour a suspicious powder into his date's drink on ABC's Primetime: What Would You Do? (7.3 million viewers overall). CBS' Without a Trace (12.4 million) was the most watched 10 p.m. show; NBC's Law & Order: SVU (9.7 million) was the highest rated in the 18-49 demo.

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