'American Idol' hits ratings low: Is the TV juggernaut dead?

Yahoo! TV
American Idol
AMERICAN IDOL: Sudden Death Round. L-R: Keith Urban, Niki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright: FOX.

The once-mighty ratings champion "American Idol" is teetering in its fight this season. Week after week, the reality series has been getting gut-punched by "Modern Family." Last night, the comedy finally knocked "Idol" down.

Last night's Season 12 episode garnered 13.1 million viewers and a 3.8 among adults 18-49 -- the smallest Wednesday-night audience ever and the lowest-rated show since 2003.

"Modern Family" had a smaller audience (10.6 million), but for the first time ever, a higher demo number, at 3.9. After some adjustment in the numbers, the shows will likely end up tied, but it's still a huge win for the comedy over what some have called "the Death Star" of television.

And things might get even worse for "Idol" as the season progresses. The show has slipped in number of adult viewers, ages 18-49 (the age range advertisers crave most), for the past three Wednesdays.

[Related: Catch up with on 'Idol' with the latest Reality Rocks recap]

This comes after a dismally rated Season 11, after which Fox ordered some major retooling. Judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez were out, with Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban coming on board.

Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe also tweaked the voting process, bringing back the Top 10 finalists for the first time since the inaugural season. He's also talked about revealing vote totals and geographic information.

Will any of these changes boost "Idol's" ratings when the final rounds commence? Or has the juggernaut finally been defeated? We'll have to wait and find out.