Last night's debut of "AI" was watched by 35 million viewers -- its biggest opener ever and Fox's single biggest night of ratings for a regular series ever as well. In other "Idol" news, the New York Times mentioned the casting of Diana DeGarmo in "Hairspray" by describing her as "one of the most popular 'American Idol' contestants despite a second place finish." That's exactly wrong, since DeGarmo is one of the least popular finalists, with only runner-up Justin Guarini ranking even lower in post-"Idol" success.
In other TV ratings, "Scrubs" was beaten by a repeat of "Commander In Chief" and "Love Monkey" was spanked by "Law & Order: SVU." "Love Monkey" dropped some 33% in viewers but can take comfort in holding on to almost all of the target 18-49 demo.
NOTE: Lots of reports say Kelly Clarkson won't let her songs be heard on "American Idol." (Simon Cowell rightly says that would be stupid of her.) The "AI" producers say they have a call in and it's just a paperwork issue. But didn't someone sing 'Since U Been Gone" last night?