Remember way back in 2011 when The X Factor USA first launched? Back when Simon Cowell was predicting audiences of 20 million an episode and that his Fox singing competition was going to be the new American Idol…
Well as we know things haven’t really worked out as Simon said.
A couple of weeks ago The X Factor pulled in just 3.75 million viewers and a measly 1.0 18-49 share. Ouch.
Okay to be fair that was on Thanksgiving night, a terrible night for TV ratings. But it isn’t like The X Factor has been doing all that better across the rest of its season. Ratings are sharply down year to year, following a sizeable drop from 2011. Now commentators are predicting that this season may be the show’s last…
But just when the Simon Cowell show seemed to be nearing the end of its road something rather interesting happened. And their names are Alex and Sierra.
So the new look American Idol panel has finally been unveiled… and it turns out there’s nothing new to it after all!
As you’ve doubtless heard by now the latest batch of Idol judges includes Keith Urban from season 12, Jennifer Lopez from seasons 10 and 11 and Harry Connick, Jr a frequent guest mentor from recent years. Could the ‘new’ team be any less exciting?
After a pretty big ratings decline last season Fox promised big changes to their reality champion and numerous ideas were bandied around. We were promised a panel of former Idol contestants. Or an industry panel comprising of producers, writers and execs.
But what we’ve ended up with is probably the blandest, more unimaginative and ultimately ratings sapping team possible.
Hmm, did the makers of America’s Next Top Model start reading Remote Patrolled recently?
Ha ha – of course not – but if they’d taken a read of my last Top Model posting way back in 2010 they’d have seen me calling for a Boys vs Girls season as a way to freshen up the franchise. And guess what – now they’ve just done just that. And Top Model is hot again.
Sure the show’s best ratings days are probably still behind it, but the premiere of Top Model 2.0 recently pulled in a very decent 1.55 million viewers and a 0.6 18-49 share, the show’s highest rating premiere and the CW’s biggest Friday in 2 years. Fierce.
Okay so the Guys vs Girls idea is long overdue and isn’t exactly rocker science but kudos to Top Model for finally shaking things up. The veteran Tyra Banks show, now in its 20th cycle, suddenly feels fresh again. Adding some testosterone to the mix has worked wonders.
It’s hardly a summer smash and boy, is it derivative. But I have to be honest – I’m rather enjoying NBC’s latest Survivor style reality show, Get Out Alive.
Okay the full title is Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls. And we all know this show would never exist if former Discovery star Grylls wasn’t on board. After falling out with his previous network over a contractual dispute (and trust me I know all about those!) Grylls was snapped up by NBC. Smart move in my book. Grylls is charming, likeable and of course a total tough guy. I love that Get Out Alive’s opener ended with Bear skydiving out of a plane. We’re definitely not talking Ryan Seacrest metrosexuality here…
Format wise there’s nothing special about Get Out Alive. It’s a total Survivor copycat, just like last year’s Expedition Impossible and this summer’s 72 Hours on TNT. Ten couples compete to ‘survive’ in the wilds of New Zealand and each week the ‘weakest’ couple is sent home by Grylls (with perhaps the most cumbersome and wordy send off in recent reality history!)
Yep, it’s utterly derivate. But Get Out Alive is glossy, well produced and entertaining – and this summer that’ll do More >
American Idol has only been off our screens for about five minutes and it’s still been dominating the pop culture headlines all week!
After a lackluster season 12 which saw ratings plummet to an all time low, and a panel of judges no one liked, rumors recently surfaced that Idol is planning a very big step for its 13th year. All the current celebrity judges are out – and in their place will be a new panel comprising of FORMER Idol contestants.
The names currently being bandied around include Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aitken and Adam Lambert and yesterday reports surfaced that Hudson’s deal is essentially done. So is the story true? And is this a good move? Here’s my take…
American Idol – season 12. What happened?
For a season that started so strong, how did TV’s formerly biggest music show end so miserably. Ratings are down drastically year-to-year, the judging panel is falling apart, the show feels exhausted and NBC’s The Voice is thrashing Idol in ratings AND buzz. Personally, as a huge Idol fan, I’ve checked out.
So what went wrong? Here’s what I think are the five main flaws of Idol this season:
When it comes to TV formats the ‘business makeover’ concept is far from a new idea. There’s Tabatha Takes Over, Kitchen Nightmares, Remodeled and many more.
But recently one show has emerged as the king of this mini genre. Its name – Bar Rescue, currently airing its third season on Spike (and in virtual non stop reruns at weekends)
The idea is simple. Each week, bar industry expert Jon Taffer arrives at a different struggling bar somewhere in America and endeavors to turn the business around through a team of experts, staff re-education, an ambitious makeover and lots of tough talk (and frequent shouting). The result is one of the most addictive reality shows currently on our screens!
Okay, on paper it all sounds very like Kitchen Nightmares, the horrible Gordon Ramsay shoutfest that airs on Friday nights on Fox. But Bar Rescue is different – mainly because it feels less contrived and a lot more real. The problem with Kitchen Nightmares (the US not the UK version) is that the whole point of the show is essentially to see Ramsay lose his temper and belittle people. But Bar Rescue feels different. Taffer shouts and screams but you feel he genuinely wants to help. More >
Imagine you’re the head of ABC. Last year you greenlit a celebrity diving show, thinking the project could be a follow up to your long running Dancing With The Stars franchise. You decide to commission a whole series of said show and then you learn that one of your competitors – Fox – has gone ahead and greenlit exactly the same concept, calling their show Stars In Danger.
Fox beats you to the punch and premieres their show – just a one off special – in January 2013. The 2-hour ‘event’ crashes badly in the ratings, pulling in just 3.3 million viewers and a measly 1.3 18-49 share. What do you do?
Well it seems that ABC are forging ahead with Splash regardless, which has to make you wonder – does the show stand ANY chance of ratings success.
Personally I think not. Look if ABC had somehow managed to book Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to go high diving viewers might tune in. But they didn’t. Instead they’ve got Keisha Knight Pullum aka Rudy from The Cosby Show. Kendra Wilkinson. And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Oh and by the way these are the GOOD names!
Hey guess what – my favorite music competition is finally worth watching again!
After suffering through a truly terrible two-year period – let’s call it ‘The Steven Tyler Era’ – American Idol has bounced back better than ever in the last few weeks. And it’s all to do with those brand new judges – Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj.
At the start of the year I speculated as to how the new Idol panel would fare, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. At a time when Fox pays Britney Spears $15 million to speak with a strange British accent, act robotically and struggle to give even the vaguest semblance of a critical note – my expectations weren’t exactly high. But the new Idol judges are smart, thoughtful, critical and passionate. Phew!
After months of hype, cast catfights and great expectations, American Idol is back for a 12th season? So will you be watching?
I didn’t watch a single moment of Idol’s 11th season – and it seems I wasn’t alone. Idol lost a whopping 23% of its total viewers last season and the season finale plunged by almost 8 million viewers from a year earlier. Sure the show is still a major hit – but Fox needs to stop the declines. And fast!
For me the big reason I tuned out last season was due to judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. Partnered with the consistently ineffectual Randy Jackson, Tyler and Lopez (the former in particular) barely offered anything resembling a critique in season 10, leading to a dreary season where every performance was ‘amazing’ and ‘special’. Total snooze. How I longed for the days of Simon Cowell. Or even Kara DioGuardi. Heck even Paula had some moments of clarity at times!
But now Tyler and Lopez have departed to ‘re-launch’ their music careers and a new posse have been drafted in – diva Mariah Carey, rapper Nicki Minaj and country star Keith Urban. Unfortunately we still have to put up with Randy Jackson. More >