Saturday, April 20, 2024

New Music “American Idol” Beaten by Old Music “Motown 60” Special on CBS, Even Without Michael Jackson


“American Idol” was beaten in the ratings last night by real music, and it was an irony for Lionel Richie.

“Motown 60” on CBS won the time slot from 8 to 10pm with 6.8 million vs. 6.4 million. More young people watched “Idol” but more people enjoyed Motown.

Lionel Richie, who dropped out of the Motown taping at the last minute, is a judge on “Idol.” Jennifer Lopez, who used to be an “Idol” judge, appeared on the Motown show in her dreadful Grammy medley of Motown songs. It was the same performance as from the Grammy show. It was just dropped in.

The Motown special emphasized the Motown superstars– Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and Diana Ross. There was no mention of Michael Jackson, who I guess will now be wiped from the label’s history a la Kate Smith from the Yankees and the Philadelphia Flyers. Ridiculous.

The best part of the Motown special, aside from the performances, were the interviews. The Smokey Robinson/Mary Wilson segment was excellent. So was the one with the songwriters. Mary Wilson really got her vindication over Diana Ross. Nice work, Ken Ehrlich.

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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