by Lisa Respers France, CNN
This is a shortened version of the article.
(CNN) – There was a time when “American Idol” was unstoppable in the ratings.
The formula was fairly simple. Take a host of hopefuls, add in a goofy but nurturing judge (Paula Abdul), a slang-spewing, middle-of-the-road one (Randy Jackson), a tyrant (Simon Cowell), and a pearly-toothed host (Ryan Seacrest) and watch the Nielson ratings bubble – sometimes more than 30 million viewers an episode, unheard of numbers in these thinly sliced audience days.
This season things have changed. Abdul is gone and the buzz continues to build that Cowell will soon follow. The ratings, after peaking in the sixth season, have declined.
Could it be that the reign of “Idol” may be drawing to a close?
“Every show has a life cycle,” said Chicago Tribune TV critic Maureen “Mo” Ryan. I think [‘idol’] has reached that point in its maturity where it’s not necessarily guaranteed to end up on the top of the ratings heap every single night, every single week, every single year. I think it will certainly be high up there, but I don’t think it will be as huge a phenomenon as it has been.”
The show still has a hardcore fan base, of course.
Dave Della Terza, creator of the Web site Vote For The Worst, where viewers are encouraged to cast their ballots for some of the more “interesting” contestants, said many fans get completely wrapped up in the show.
Yet over the years he said, he said, “idol” fever has cooled a bit, as evidenced by the lack of superstar status of many of the winners.
“The last big star the show created was Chris Daughtry,” Della Terza said, referring to the rocker who placed fourth on season five on the show and went on to sell millions of records and be nominated for a Grammy.
“American Idol” runs on personalities, and producers are banking on Ellen DeGeneres to fill the void left by Paula Abdul. “Her love of music and understanding of the American public will bring a unique human touch to judging panel,” producer Simon Fuller said.
Help me out here, wasn’t Chris Daughtry runner-up to Catherine McPhee who won that season?
May Your Glass Always Be Half Full
Read a chapter at: