Today's column previews the new season of "American Idol" and offers some suggestions for how it can rebound from the mostly-forgettable season six:
Hit TV shows become big, ungainly ocean liners after a while. There may be troubled waters ahead, but they can't see them until it's far too late to steer around. So give some credit to the producers of "American Idol" for recognizing a major problem with their franchise and course-correcting at the earliest possible moment.To read the full thing, click here. As with previous seasons, don't expect much "Idol" blogging from me before the semi-finals begin. Even in a strike season, my patience for the audition episodes only goes so far.
In an industry where "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is one of the governing philosophies, it would be easy to assume nothing was wrong with the most popular show on TV. Though last season crushed everything in its path, and though the writers strike means there won't be much in its path to crush this time around, there are going to be changes made, according to the man at the top.
Even as "Idol" season six was dominating the Nielsens, "Idol" nation didn't seem too crazy about the product -- in particular, in the way the contestants became afterthoughts in their own show, taking a back seat to celebrity mentors, more product placement, even the otherwise well-intentioned "Idol Gives Back" charity event.