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'American Idol' finale popular in Tampa Bay area

By ERIC DEGGANS, Times TV Critic

© St. Petersburg Times
published September 7, 2002

It turns out Tampa Bay area TV viewers know an American idol when they see one, too.

That's the assumption, at least, following news that Wednesday's finale for the hit summertime talent contest American Idol: the Search for a Superstar drew 19.7 percent of the area's 1.6-million TV households, about one out of every five homes. In all, 27 percent of the Tampa Bay area residents watching TV from 8 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, were watching American Idol.

Those numbers mirrored national ratings for the show, which drew 28-million viewers, or 30 percent of the adults aged 18 to 49 watching TV at the time, according to the trade magazine Variety. Over 40-million viewers watched some part of the show, which featured Texas native and former waitress Kelly Clarkson crowned as the show's American Idol, Variety said.

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