Well they had to do SOMETHING. Literally, the show that changed the face of television, rides off into the sunset after it’s “unprecedented 15 season run on FOX,” without winning an Emmy? Not so fast! The Television Academy announced on Friday (August 19) that American Idol is set to receive the 2016 Governors Award in “recognition of its game-changing impact on the medium. ”
From the official announcement:
The award honors an individual or organizational achievement in the television arts and sciences that is so exceptional and universal in nature, it goes beyond the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition.
Simon Fuller created the wildly popular singing competition, which ran from June 11, 2002 to April 7, 2016 on FOX.
For an unmatched eight consecutive years, American Idol ranked No. 1 in U.S. television ratings and played to a worldwide audience of 460 million across 53 countries. Its innovations in audience participation through text-based and mobile voting led to nearly a billion votes cast throughout its run.
Produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, the groundbreaking series received 59 Emmy nominations and won eight Emmys. Additionally, American Idol’s talented discoveries have won 13 Grammys, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award, among numerous other accolades.
The show also had a profound impact on the music industry, launching the careers of superstars Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, among many others. Idol contestants have sold more than 60 million albums, resulting in more than 80 Platinum records and 95 Gold records. Its participants have generated more than 450 Billboard No. 1 hits and sold more than 260 million digital downloads.
Previous recipients of the Governors Award, which debuted in 1978, include William S. Paley, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Masterpiece Theater, Comic Relief, the ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC networks for America: A Tribute To Heroes, the “It Gets Better” Project and last year’s honoree, A+E Networks.
It’s worth noting that American Idol was not nominated this year, it’s last season of eligibility, which seemed so unfair on the face of it, but par for the course considering how the award world works. No Emmy noms for a show that’s basically yesterday’s news! Host Ryan Seacrest has been nominated in the Reality Host category. His winning would be a nice bookend to the Governors Award.
“American Idol wasn’t just a hit show. With its successful integration of social media, dominance of the pop-culture conversation and legions of imitators, it changed television in a profound way,” said Governors Award Selection Committee Chair Michael Levine. “You could meaningfully divide the history of television into ‘before American Idol’ and ‘after American Idol’.” Exactly.
Congrats to all the folks involved with American Idol on their well deserved accolade.