Monday, January 11, 2010

American Idol: Is Fox making a mistake with the Simon Cowell situation?

As the day went along and I gave more thought to the Simon Cowell situation, it occurred to me that it has a few parallels to the Jay/Conan mess at NBC. So I wrote another blog post at NJ.com about that.

16 comments:

Vikki said...

Anyone who can quickly explain what is the format of X Factor and how it differs from Idol?

SoCal said...

I, for one, will not be watching AI without Cowell. He is the only honest judge of the lot, and without him, and i don't know that i could take the show seriously.

Alex Mullane said...

Well, in the UK there are big auditions where anyone can enter, young or old, solo or as a group.

Then the judges are assigned a group - for example, Cowell would get the Over 30s, Judge 2 gets the boys, judge 3 the girls, and judge 4 the groups.

The judges then coach the three or four contestants in their group and decide what songs each contestant under their wing will perform each week.

Then voting as standard.

(To the best of my knowledge, at least, I'm not big on reality shows)

farsighted said...

I wish these shows would self-implode. I could care less if I never saw another one. Bring back the Gong Show.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Alex has it right. I was in the UK recently and watched a couple of episodes. It was fun, but there is really very, very little to distinguish it from Idol. In fact, one of the biggest differences was that because the judges act as mentors and have more of a personal stake in things they banter with each other even more than on Idol. Considering most people think the AI judges were already getting too much screen time last year, I can't really imagine why anyone would want a show with so much focus on the judges.

Anonymous said...

Great article, Alan. You're right about how much this situation resembles the Conan/Leno debacle. With NBC, though, they were worried that Jay or Conan would move to another network. Do you think if Fox canceled Idol that another network would try to swoop in and steal it? And since this is Fox we're talking about, what do you think the likelihood is that they'll stick to their current plan and won't just decide to end Idol next year before The X-Factor starts?

Anonymous said...

My money's on Simon being replaced with Jonathan Ross. He leaves his lucrative post at the BBC for other undisclosed opportunities, Nigel Lithgoe says he'll do fine, perhaps even in the US (HINT) and later that day the news comes that Simon is leaving American Idol. Pretty sure they're hoping the "he's British" factor will get past the "where does this new guy get the nerve to be such a jerk?" issue.

Nicole said...

Jonathan Ross is more of a geek than a meanie like Simon Cowell. It would be like having Conan be a judge, (hey that's a thought...)

Idol is over without Simon. Fox may push for a year without him, but with ratings already going down, this will be the reason for most people to quit watching.

LA said...

Put a fork in Idol. After Simon leaves, it's done.

Jerry said...

The whole "Idol's ratings are dropping thing"....it's still the number one show on TV by far. So, I'm sure that's why FOX is trying to keep it. However, it's more likely both shows will fail.

JS said...

so when simon leaves, Idol is left with randy, kara and ellen. ugh. Fox may push this show along for another 10 years until all the viewers have finally left, but the fact is once Simon is gone, Idol is over. nothing cool about being over and not even knowing it. rather embarrassing, actually.

Karl Ruben said...

I was with you all the way up to this:

For another, we're a bit more brand loyal. In sports, we cheer for the uniform more than the player wearing it.

In my experience, that's more of a universal human thing than an exclusively American thing.

AM said...

They don't need just someone to be critical to fill Simon's chair. They need someone with an musical/producer background b/c that individual needs to have the artistic credibility to be as harsh + blunt as Simon.

Matt S. said...

No joke---Simon leaves, the show coasts for the three years fox just signed it for---and then goes the way of Star Search---it will have had 12 years on the air tho---that's a pretty freakin' good run by any means----I don't even think ER was in the top 20 anymore at year 12 right? Is CSI the original still even in the top 10 on a weekly basis and this is year 10 right now right?

for shows that aren't the simpsons or law and order---but are white hot for a surprisngly long time--this seems to be the norm.

will it be sad to see Idol limping through the next 3 years? Honestly prob not because you just know the PR Hype Machine this time next year will be off the charts with their new judge to promote----if he does prove to be a bust and the show suddenly starts getting beat by Criminal Minds and Modern Family then you know the show is toast (or summer bound to satisfy contract needs) but really what the hell are the odds of that actually happeneing right??? (Seriously, even if the show falls off like 25-35% ratings wise--it'll still more then likely be the no.1 show of the night and will prob still be the no. 1 show of the season--or at least in the top 5 right?----Either way the show will hold up as the winner for the next year or 2 until the next white hot tv show comes along to snatch the ratings crown and media love and like Friends and ER and Seinfeld and CSI and Survivor we'll talk fondly of the time it was a gigantic powerhouse that put Fox on top.)

Also lets face facts here---as much as i love the networks---and as much as i love that you never quite know where the next major hit will come from---does anyone honestly see the next big thing coming within the next year or two??? Of course not---which is exactly why something will come along to fill the gap and become the next big thing---something ALWAYS comes to fill the void when the current top champ is on its way down. (you can argue that survivor and csi were just getting started when idol came on the scene--but you can also argue that longtime hit friends and er were starting to wind down.)

tomok97 said...

Paula Abdul joins X-Factor in...3...2...1...

baggsey said...

Totally agree with Alan's column in NJ Ledger.

Having watched X Factor and American Idol for multiple seasons each, I can say that hands-down X Factor is the superior format. X Factor brings wider variety to the contestants (girls, boys, over 25s and groups), and introduces a level of personal investment and competition by the judges when they each have a set of performers to coach, assigned at random.

The success of this format depends on having judges who are either record producers or performers with a track record in the business, and crucially have credibility with the audiences, as well as being articulate in their observations. This inevitably means that judges from Idol will not port over.

Can X Factor and Idol co-exist? Experience says No. In the UK X-factor screens in the Fall on ITV1 (major national channel) , whereas American Idol screens in the Spring on ITV2 with far lower ratings. Fox will be well aware of this. Idol will go.

I predict X Factor will succeed hugely for Fox, and Idol will wither. I suspect that Simon will bring in Ryan Seacrest to host.