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Here’s The Problem With American Idol

When American Idol burst on the scene 12 seasons ago, it was so big, they could do whatever they wanted and we’d find a way to watch. The problem with American Idol is they think that’s still true…and it’s not.

When Idol was so dominant that the other networks were running repeats against it because they knew they couldn’t win, people were changing their own schedules to make sure they didn’t miss a minute of Idol, no matter how long each show was, or how many nights a week it was on.

American Idol Finale Show
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

I remember talking to Jersey Shore business owners who would literally move special events or sales if they were going to be on an “Idol night”. I know restaurant owners who scheduled fewer waiters and waitresses when Idol was on. But those days are long gone.

Here’s my take on Idol’s slip in the ratings. They think we’ll still rearrange our schedule and watch every minute no matter how many hours they throw at us. Add in the endless changes in judges and the rise of The Voice, and you’ve got some trouble for Idol.

American Idol is a top ten show, and most other shows can only dream of having the viewers it has. Having said that, here’s what I think Idol needs to do to start heading back in the right direction. Stop thinking you’re the only show on TV.

Idol has made a habit of taking an hour to do what takes a half hour. Last night’s finale was a great one hour show. The problem is the show was two hours long. My advice is pretty simple. I like the show and always have, but if you can finish a show in an hour, please do. Drop all the fill stuff and all the group singing. Make every minute count.

And on a personal note, a few less shots of Keith Urban would be nice. I like Keith Urban, but my wife loves Keith Urban. A lot. Really. A lot. Thank you.

 

 

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