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Article updated: 3/31/2013 7:25 AM

Ratings dip but 'American Idol' gets the ads

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This undated image released by Fox shows judges, from left, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey from the singing competition series, "American Idol," airing Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox. In its 12th season, "American Idol" is managing to hit the right notes with sponsors if not always with fickle viewers. It has retained its status as TV's advertising leader among series and the loyalty of its biggest backers, including Ford and Coca-Cola. (AP Photo/Fox, Frank Micelotta)

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In the heyday of "American Idol," the notion that it could fall ratings victim to a zombie slugfest or standard crime drama would have been laughable. That was then. With Fox's singing contest shedding about 20 percent of its audience so far this season, but it is managing to hit the right notes with sponsors if not always with fickle viewers.
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