Sunday, April 21, 2024

American Idol: Permanently Wounded in Ratings by The Olympics?


There were as many losers as winners during the Olympics this month. But the real loser may have been “American Idol.” Back on February 5th, “Idol” had hopeful if much diminished ratings before the Olympics started. They had a 3.9 share in the key demo and over 13 million viewers.

But then the games started and the ratings slid. The thinking was they’d come back once the skiiers, skaters, and snowboarders left Sochi. Alas, last night’s “Idol” ratings were dismal: a 2.6 rating and just over 10 million viewers. Three million total viewers, including a million between 18 and 49, may not be coming back.

Of course, “Idol” is now acknowledged by Fox to be a different kind of show. Fox execs said it was “winding down.” But a permanent drop off after the Olympics may cause real worry for fans. Let’s see if tonight’s show can gin up some more enthusiasm. Fox killed off “X Factor” quickly rather than perform triage. They may decide to do the same thing here.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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