The revamped "American Idol" had a strong debut on ABC, reaching more than 10 million viewers and shrugging off Fox's attempt to blunt the premiere's impact with its special on O.J. Simpson.
The Nielsen company said that the 10.34 million who watched the return of "American Idol" represented ABC's biggest Sunday night audience with regular series programming since 2012.
Fox's presentation of a 2006 Simpson interview in which he speculated about how he might have killed his former wife was watched by 4.4 million people — an echo of the sensational interest the Simpson case drew two decades ago.
There was bad blood when Fox ended "American Idol" two years ago, and the Simpson interview was seen as Fox's attempt to prevent a fast start for ABC.