FOX has announced that the show American Idol, which has been thrilling the nation for 15 years, has launched talents in the music industry and has dismantled all the other TV rivals, will come to an end. In 2016, the popular TV show will put the brakes on, with a special edition which will gather together the judges and the participants of the seasons since its debut.
American Idol first edition premiered on June 11, 2002 and ended on September, 2002. The show inspiration was brought in after the British version of Pop Idol ended after only two seasons. Simon Cowell was among the judges of this first edition of the show, whose winner was Kelly Clarkson. Ryan Seacrest, one of the hosts, is the only one who has remained part of the staff and will continue to be to the show’s last season.
Ratings in television are those which ultimately decide over something stays on the air or has been thrown in the bin, with the script flipped to something else. FOX chairmen and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden admitted that it was not an easy decision to make. The show has been drawing millions of viewers every year, with a peak for the music competition ratings in 2006 of 36 million viewers. For the last two runs of the show, American Idol will have the same judges as in the previous two cycles; these are Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. However, since series 10 of the show, which has registered for the finale won by Scott McCreery with over 29 million viewers, the numbers plummeted every edition. When Caleb Johnson won the last edition, with a rock performance featured with KISS, the rating barely topped 10 million viewers for the finale.
For this edition, number 14 of the American Idol, for the first time, the results will be jointed into the performance episodes, with air time significantly trimmed to once a week, on Wednesday nights. The decision to terminate American Idol seems to have been made after an absolute record low on May 12, 2015, of only 5.55 million viewers. No matter how emotional would be such a decision, as Gary Newman stated, it looks it was the right decision to make.
Talents have been discovered and promoted throughout the years by the most popular show on TV. Kelly Clarkson, the winner of the first edition of the show, has won since three Grammy awards and broke a Billboard record held by The Beatles for the biggest jump through the charts, from number fifty-two to number one, in only one week, with the single A Moment Like This. Then, in 2009. she broke her own record with the single My Life Would Suck Without You, which had a whooping leap from number ninety-seven to number one. Winner of the 4th edition of American Idol, Carrie Underwood turned out to become a seven-time Grammy award winner. That edition was also the last time the show would be aired in standard TV definition.
Glooming ratings like the show has posted in the past years simply undermine the glorious past the American Idol had, even if for a long while. The producers want to turn the last edition into a special edition of the show, and for this they have already announced some surprises. Tantalizing venues and a cast of judges and competitors aim at making the last edition of the show a moment like Kelly Clarkson was singing about in the first edition. The hosts know it is not going to be about winners anymore, they know cannot boost this season which looks doomed already, but all they look for is a performance to make forgotten the poor ratings of the last seasons. FOX is not wailing on American Idol and has already announced a string of new TV shows to replace FOX’s Death Star, which is what American Idol was called, for leaving no chance for the other shows to air at the same time.
For the last edition of the Idol, the executives are prone to bring everyone in again. When asked if this will include the host of the first edition, Brian Dunkleman, Walden said that he only needs his phone number.
By Lucky Graziano
Entertainment Weekly – Why FOX is ending American Idol
Billboard – ‘American Idol’ Finale Ratings
NY Times -‘American Idol’ Will End Its Run In 2016
Photo Courtesy of by Ricky Brigante’s Flickr – Creative Commons License