“Dancing with the Stars” beats “American Idol” in the ratings. Does Kate Gosselin have anything to do with it? or the the Internet’s “most downloaded” star Pamela Anderson maybe?
ARTICLES TALKING ABOUT THE DWS vs Idol ‘war:
Has American Idol jumped the shark?
Reality television’s top dog has had its day, and it’s time to turn out the lights
After 10 hugely successful seasons, after millions of viewers, millions of controversies and millions of hit records, after creator and judge Simon Cowell announced he’s leaving the show this year to work on the North American version of The X Factor, his other Brit hit, the little show that’s all about discovering big talent is done.
And that, it must be said, is a good thing.
Oh, don’t panic. There’s no official announcement that this is American Idol’s last call. It’s still far too successful, at least commercially, to kill off.
But those of us suffering from severe Idol fatigue are hoping that producers see the light and take a lesson from the prime-time school of dying with dignity, so aptly demonstrated a few years back by Jerry Seinfeld.
Because American Idol has become a crashing bore.
Once upon a time, eight years ago, it was a brilliant concept, slick and polished and fresh, a new-age talent show that it was averaging 30 million viewers at its high point, a bona fide pop culture phenomenon.
But something has happened to American Idol in recent years, something best described as contempt bred by familiarity.
Having charming Ellen DeGeneres replace judge Paula Abdul hasn’t helped, nor has Idol Gives Back, or glam judges such as Posh Spice, Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne, or mentors and performers such as Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Usher, Shania Twain and Miley Cyrus.
The thrill, as they say, is gone, which is why it’s no surprise that American Idol was beaten this week, ratings-wise, by Dancing With The Stars, posting its lowest Tuesday numbers (20 million viewers) since its debut in 2002 as a spinoff of Cowell’s British Pop Idol.
American Idol is still miles ahead of pretty much everything else on the tube, but some would say the writing’s on the wall.
‘American Idol’ Ratings Hit a Low Mark
The chops-licking over the declining performance of Fox’s “American Idol” may grow more intense in the wake of the Tuesday night ratings for that perennial powerhouse.
Fewer people watched “Idol” on Tuesday (when the contestant Crystal Bowersox performed with the didgeridoo player Ernie Fields, both left) than watched ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday. (“Dancing” runs performance episodes on Mondays, with results on Tuesdays; “Idol” generally has performance on Tuesdays with results on Wednesdays.) And for a second consecutive week, in the category Fox cares most about — viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 — “Idol,” if the Tuesday overnight ratings hold, will post its lowest number ever for a two-hour edition of the show.
It will also be the lowest-rated Tuesday edition of the show since an hourlong episode on Aug. 13, 2002, in its first season, when the series played in the summer. “Idol” had a total audience of about 20.4 million on Tuesday, below the 21.2 million that “Dancing” averaged for its performance show on Monday. (The “Dancing” results on Tuesday averaged a total audience of 12.3 million.) But the “Idol” 7.1 rating among viewers 18 to 49 is what will be most noticed. That is down from a 7.7 a week ago and down from the 8.1 the show averaged for the three previous weeks.
Of course, “Idol” is still the dominant show on television with those younger adults advertisers love. And the success of “Dancing” has to be tempered by its skew toward older viewers. This week’s “Dancing” results episode, when the astronaut Buzz Aldrin was blasted off the show, faced the “Idol” performance on Tuesday night and scored a modest 2.4 rating in the 18 to 49 group. More tellingly, almost 70 percent of its audience was over 50.