Lingering worries that American Idol could be running out of steam were quickly dispelled Tuesday when the talent show's new season kicked off with ratings that were significantly above those for Idol' s last season debut. The first audition show attracted 29.78 million viewers, peaking in the 9 30 p.m. half hour with 32.31 million, according to Nielsen overnight figures. Remarkably, CBS's NCIS held its own against the potent performance by Idol , averaging 20.71 million viewers. NCIS Los Angeles also brought in viewers againsst Idol -- 15.5 million of them. Meanwhile, Jay Leno drew one of his biggest audiences during his four-month run as viewers tuned in to hear what he had to say about the move to dump his show at 10 00 and move it to 11 35 p.m. The first half-hour of the show, which featured his monologue, drew 6.51 million viewers. That number dropped to 5.88 million during the second half hour.