‘Idol’ creator Simon Fuller may seek a corporate role
Now that Simon Cowell has decided this will be his last season as a judge on Fox’s “American Idol, ” the next drama for the show’s creator, Simon Fuller, may be in a boardroom.
Fuller, chief executive of 19 Entertainment, which produces “American Idol” for Fox, is eyeballing the top job at 19 Entertainment’s parent company, CKX Inc., according to people close to the situation.
CKX, headed by Robert F.X. Sillerman, also has a majority stake in Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., and an 80% interest in licensing rights to the name and image of Muhammad Ali.
For the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, 19 Entertainment reported $71.4 million in revenue, accounting for 82% of parent company CKX’s total revenue.
Cowell Departure Another Jolt to Weakening ‘Idol’
With Simon Cowell’s days numbered and Paula Abdul already gone, this season is shaping up to be the end of an era for the nation’s most-popular show, Fox’s “American Idol.”
But when it comes to living up to its title â€” creating a superstar act that captures the imagination of millions â€” the power of “Idol” has been ebbing for years. (The new season of “Idol” starts Tuesday night (8 p.m. EST.) While the show produced multiplatinum sensations in its earlier days, starting with Kelly Clarkson and ending with Carrie Underwood, recent “Idol” winners or runners-up have not had similar chart success.
‘Idol’ Season 9: An audition for the franchise’s success?
Now we know: Simon Cowell is done with American Idol at the end of the season. Suddenly, rookie judge Ellen DeGeneres looks more like the producers’ hedge bet against his departure than their replacement for Paula Abdul.
The offstage controversy may work short-term ratings wonders for Idol, which premieres tonight (Fox, 8 ET/PT). But if the entertainment media’s obsession with the judging panel’s makeup finds its way into the show itself, Idol’s producers might just as well bring in Henry Winkler as Cowell’s replacement and strap water skis to his feet.
‘American Idol’ Preview: Matt Giraud, Experts Look Ahead
And while Cowell grabbed headlines, there are plenty of other judge-related subplots that will also vie for attention, including ones centered on Randy Jackson (how will he fare without fellow lifer Paula Abdul, Kara (can she make fans love her after a rocky first season?) and this year’s new face, talk-show veteran Ellen DeGeneres.
“When I first started on ‘American Idol’ they said, ‘Don’t go on the Internet and read people’s comments, ‘ but I did anyway and the comments from people who were really excited after seeing the first set of commercials were all about the judges â€” ‘I can’t wait to see Simon and Paula, ‘ ” said Matt Giraud, last season’s fifth-place finisher who, like others we talked to, discussed the upcoming season before the news about Cowell broke. “People do tune in for the judges too. They make the show. If it was just singing and people voting, it wouldn’t have half as many viewers.”
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
American Idol at a Crossroads
Simon Cowell is a lame duck, Paula Abdul is gone, Ellen DeGeneres is arriving. Can Idol survive this upheaval? Richard Rushfield lists the showâ€™s seven biggest challenges.
With Mondayâ€™s announcement that Simon Cowell will leave American Idol at the end of this season, televisionâ€™s sole superpower suffers the biggest hit in its eight-year life span.
The conventional wisdom has among American Idol watchers has always been aprÃ¨s Cowell, le deluge. And that could very well be. But could Cowellâ€™s departure also be an opportunity for renewal? Could Idol defy expectations to enter its second decade stronger than ever?
It’s the host and judges who make ‘American Idol’ sizzle
So, Simon Cowell announces on the eve of “American Idol’s” return that he’s leaving the hit show after this season. What does that mean for this year?
Fear not, dearest “Idol” fans. Despite — and, in an odd way, because of — Cowell’s impending departure, “American Idol” will remain the best drama on television.
For eight seasons, viewers have been riveted by the show and its portrayals of the light and dark sides of human nature. The show’s classic archetypes of heroes and villains have helped it retain the crown of America’s No. 1 show, and have kept chatter about “Idol” at the forefront of the pop culture conversation.
As ‘American Idol’ season 9 set to premiere, a look back at the best covers ever on the show
It takes years to learn the fine art of interpreting a song. Since the material isnâ€™t your own, you need to bring great character, and insight, to the piece to bend it to your soul.
All of which stacks the deck against the Idolâ€ contestants. Theyâ€™re too unseasoned to bring much to the table, and worse, theyâ€™ve only got a few days to find their way with a piece millions know and love done another way.
Small wonder the wounding charge of karaokeâ€ keeps coming up – even from the most grade-inflating of judges. (Listening Paula?).
‘American Idol’ season 9 preview – Sepinwall on TV
Simon Cowell has always been the one man on “American Idol” who speaks the truth and sees through all the nonsense that surrounds America’s most popular TV show – and he continued to do that even while announcing his “Idol” departure.
“Everybody’s talking about the judges, ” Simon said at a press conference with TV critics in which he said he would leave the series after this season to launch an American version of his hit UK series “The X Factor.” (Which I think is a mistake.) “Fundamentally, the reason we do this is we want to find talent.”
That is exactly what “Idol” should be about, particularly in this fork-in-the-road season that will mark Simon’s last, Ellen DeGeneres’ first, and the series’ first without Paula Abdul.
American Idol: The Idols’ Vitals
SETTLING IN FOR a new season of “American Idol” is like dropping into your seat on the first day at school. Before you is a herd of strangers, some you’ll get to know quite well, some you’ll wish you’d steered clear of altogether.
But just as each classroom has its nerds, jocks and preps, those who’ve made a splash on “American Idol” often fall into recognizable categories. Here are a few archetypes to keep an eye out for Tuesday as the “Idol” bell rings at 8 p.m. on Fox.
An ‘NCIS’-‘American Idol’ Connection
“American Idol” returns tonight for its ninth season going up against “NCIS, ” which is the one series that successfully holds onto its ratings against the show many programming executives consider to be a “death star.” But did you know the two shows actually have a friend/foe relationship thanks to two of its cast members?
“Before ‘American Idol’ and ‘NCIS’ — because I am also a singer and songwriter — Randy Jackson and I were friends, ” Pauley Perrette tells ET. “We were friends for years before we got our shows. I love Randy and he is wonderful. We are very similar. We used to tell people we were twins. Then he got his show, and I got this show, and we ended up on the same time.”
Does David Cook look like Jason Bateman in a hard hat?
Settle this for us, PopWatchers. I say the American Idol winner (or Rock Singer, according to this semi-unfortunate chyron), who helped build a house in Indiana on last nightâ€™s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, reminded me of Jason Bateman on a Bluth Company construction site in Arrested Development. I donâ€™t know, I just got a vibe. Office miscreant Michael Slezak, on the other hand, says hell to the no he they look nothing alike! Whatever. The blue tone of the hat corrupts the comparison. Either way, it was a good thing Cookie Monster had a hard hat to cover up his hair, and Slezak and I both agree that David Cook should not hesitate to incorporate a hard hat into his next music video. We are on the same page again! The page is called POPWATCH and it is Solid As A Rock. Oh and the title of this post should really be Annie comes up with lamest excuse yet to bring up Arrested Development.â€
Former members of Grand Rapids’ Sweet Japonic to back up ‘American Idol’ star Matt Giraud
Kalamazoo’s Matt Giraud, an “American Idol” finalist last season, will get a big musical boost from former members of Grand Rapids rock band Sweet Japonic for upcoming live shows in West Michigan and in Arizona.
Longtime pals of Giraud, The Sweet J Band — featuring ex-Sweet Japonic mainstays Matt Young on lead guitar, Gabe Dutton on bass, Sam Parks on guitar, Davy Tyson on keyboards and Roy Wallace on drums — will perform with Giraud at a fundraising concert in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Saturday and again Jan. 29 at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center here in the Grand Rapids area.
‘American Idol’s’ Katharine McPhee having ‘hysterical’ time on ‘Community’
It’s just as we suspected: Katharine McPhee is having a blast on “Community.”
“Having a great time on the set of NBC’s Community! Ken Jeong is hysterical! But pretty much everyone rocks!” she tweeted Monday (Jan. 11).
As Zap2it reported, the “American Idol” finalist will guest star on the NBC sitcom playing Chevy Chase’s step-daughter as well as a possible love interest for Jeff (Joel McHale). What? How can he do that to Britta?
Well, if the tweet is any indication, it appears that perpetually angry Senor Chang (Jeong) will also be in the episode. Si, es bueno!
Kat McPhee Tells Idols to Stay in Closet
Singer-actress Katharine McPhee, best known as first runner-up on season 5 of American Idol, is now advising future gay contestants not to reveal their sexuality while still on the show â€” regardless of new judge Ellen DeGeneresâ€™s potentially liberating influence.
I love Ellen and think sheâ€™s going to be great on the show, â€ McPhee tells NightTimez, a New England LGBT newspaper, but that’s a tricky thing I can only compare to someone who’s really spiritual or religious: You donâ€™t need to wear your religion on your sleeve. The competition is not about your faith or your sexuality but about you as an artist.
Jennifer Hudson to Perform at the White House
Superstar and formal Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson will perform at the White House on February 10, 2010. She will be singing at the Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movementâ€ event, which focuses on music that captures the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. February is Black History Month, and President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the concert in the White Houseâ€™s East Room.
Dreamsgirls Syesha Mercado Talks About The Stage Play
Syesha Mercado tells us what it is like to play Deena Jones
Bo Bice Talks Family, â€˜American Idolâ€™
My, how life has changed for the Alabama native, 34, who placed second to Carrie Underwood in 2005.
Along with wife Caroline, whom he wed one month after Idol wrapped, Bo will welcome his third son this month into a home that already includes Aidan, 4, and Caleb, 1.
Will they keep trying for a girl?
Yeah, if the Lord blesses me with a little girl, that would be cool, but Iâ€™d be the stereotypical dad sitting on the porch with my shotgun and itâ€™s not even duck season, â€ he tells me. But whatever the Lord throws at me right now, I think Iâ€™ve been given more blessings than I ever deserved. If he wants to top it off with anything â€“ boy, girl â€“ I would love either of them.â€
Thunder Drops Two to Close Coliseum
INTRUST Bank Arena Notes
The Thunder moves into their new home on Saturday, January 23rd when they host the Tulsa Oilers at 7:05 p.m. Former Wichita resident and American Idol finalist Phil Stacey will be on hand to perform the National Anthem. The Thunder’s first practice at the new arena is tentatively set for January 18th.
ACM Awards confirm 2010 date
Will the Taylor Swift reign continue into 2010? One won’t have to wait long to find out, with the Grammy Awards on the horizon for Jan. 31 and the Academy of Country Music Awards now set for April 18. The gala will once again be broadcast live from Las Vegas, and tape-delayed for those of us on the West Coast. Country royalty Reba McEntire will host for the 12th time.
In a change for 2010, the ACM Awards will widen the entertainer of the year field to eight contestants, up from five. The ACM Awards are produced by Dick Clark Productions, and air live on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.
Top 10 ‘American Idol’ Songs
With each ‘American Idol’ season, without fail, we fall in love with these unknown, small town voices and vote on our favorites. We listen to the judges’ critiques; Simon Cowell’s bickering (with this season rumored to be his last) and Randy Jackson’s belief in promising stars (for he fortuitously predicted Adam Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson’s success on day one). But in the end, we, the viewers, decide who stays in the running, where finalists hope the show will jump-start their careers, and soon after commercialize their talent. Over the past eight seasons, here are the Top ‘American Idol’ Songs that have been successful on the airwaves and rated by AOL Radio listeners. Let us know in the comments which idol songs are your favorite!
The Paula-holicsâ€™ Guide to Watching (Abdul-Free) American Idol
While some American Idol fans may be reeling from the news that season 9 will be Simon Cowellâ€™s last, there are others who are already full of uneasy anticipation ahead of Tuesdayâ€™s season premiere. If you are a Paula-holic â€” and I am â€” youâ€™re facing a huge hurdle: American Idol will air tonight without Paula Abdul. Prepare for withdrawal!
Paula was silly and laughable and weird: a one-lady circus of tinsel and tears. But she brought some unexpected flaky charm to the showâ€™s huge, perfectly tooled engine. She was the bobblehead on its dashboard. I donâ€™t understand: How could you not be a Paula-holic?!