Fox Starts Ad Bidding for Idol at 1 million during writers strike
…Idol ratings are already high and it a seller market due to lack of competition
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 1/13/08 ‘ …American Idol will premiere its seventh season this week with two two-hour specials on Tuesday and Wednesday, along with multi-million-dollar advertisers scrambling to get on board the top-rated show.
…Idol already boasts Ford, AT&T and Coca-Cola among its sponsors. Other advertisers are reportedly being asked to start their bids at $1 million for a 30-second spot as the show doesnt have much competition from other TV networks this season due to the writers strike.
There are about 16 slots in all, meaning the twice-weekly show can earn more than $30 million per week, especially late in the season when viewership rises. Plus it can charge for special sponsorship and cross-promotions.
‘American Idol’ Is Dead! Long Live ‘American Idol’!
Were “American Idol” returning for its seventh edition tonight without a Hollywood writers’ strike, TV critics would be clapping their little hands in glee over early signs the Fox ratings giant may be at the start of a slow slide to obscurity that befalls all reality-TV programming.
They’d prattle on happily about record labels dropping once-hot “Idol” commodities like hottie runner-up Kat McPhee and past winners Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard.
They’d argue that no matter how much her record label insists 425, 000 is the new 1.3 million, sales of ’07 “Idol” winner Jordin Sparks’s debut album have not been great. It’s the puniest debut album launch ever for an “Idol” winner, eclipsing even that of Taylor “Never Should’ve Won” Hicks. (In fairness, “Idol” non-winner Chris Daughtry’s band, Daughtry, had the fifth-best-selling album of 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan.)
More Idol Headlines After the Jump…
The reality of ‘Idol’
And although the show still dominated the ratings last year, viewing figures for the finale showed a significant decline from the previous season: 31 million viewers in 2007 vs. 36 million in 2006.
Danger signs for the AI franchise?
Not likely. According to several industry observers, the end of American Idol as a pop-culture behemoth has been wildly exaggerated. So don’t shed any tears for Simon Cowell and company.
“There’s already interest about the new season, ” says Beville Darden, an editor for AOL Music. “If anything, it could be bigger than ever.”
FOX announces Idol sponsors like it’s the Super Bowl or something
I get that American Idol is the biggest thing on television besides the Super Bowl, but do people really get that excited about who’s going to sponsor the show? Apparently someone does because FOX sent out a press release today, with great fanfare and a ticker-tape parade with Ryan Seacrest as Grand Marshall decked out in a blue and white sequined tux complete with top hat and a monkey on his shoulder, that Ford, Coca-Cola and AT&T would be the official sponsors of Idol this year.
What does this mean for you, the viewer? It means more retarded Ford commercials. It means more awkward Coca-Cola “moments” where Ryan asks a contestant a random, generic question and gets a confused and empty answer. And it means Ryan will get to say the words AT&T twelve times per contestant as he gives out their phone and text numbers.
Male American Idols face trouble with labels
While “American Idol” winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood have become two of music’s A-list stars, the recent exit of Taylor Hicks from JRecords means no male “American Idol” winner has a major-label deal now. (Ruben Studdard left J Records in December.)
Neither one, despite their wild popularity on the TV show, ever really connected with the mainstream pop audience with their albums. It’s the difference between likable personalities who make for good TV and singers who make music that lots of people want to hear all the time. They’re generally not the same thing.
The success of Chris Daughtry – who, let’s face it, was kind of a pain on the show – is a good example and he’s become the example for the new breed of “Idol” contestant who perform to get more attention for their careers, believing that winning doesn’t really matter. It’s something last season’s runner-up Blake Lewis said over and over again. And look for this season’s contestants to use that as their mantra.
A few fundamentals on the hit Fox reality series
It been the No. 1 show among adults 18-49 a record four straight seasons, the most since demographic ratings were introduced 20 years ago, pushing Fox to first place in the demo the past three years.
Yet signs of softening are there. After a huge start to last season, its numbers faltered a bit by spring, and for the first time ever …Idol average among 18-49s slipped year-to-year, by 7 percent.
Fox points out that the decline came after a fifth year in which the show grew several percentage points, meaning it was still roughly even to season four.
But that said, there reason to believe …Idol will be at least as strong as last year, if not even better, following its debut tomorrow night.
‹Idol needs a makeover to keep it attractive Throw in a cash prize, range of contenders so viewers, hopefuls will care
“American Idol” has stood the test of time for six seasons and shows few signs of slowing down. But that hardly means it isn’t due for a makeover anyway.
Despite its status atop the ratings mountain, season seven is a pivotal one for “Idol.” Last year brought a disappointing amount of “Idol” buzz, and most of the attention centered around the Sanjaya saga. Sure, the ratings were great, but the show was at a point where it could have broadcast drunken karaoke and still killed in the ratings.
That won’t last forever. This is the year the show is going to have to get back to the fundamentals in order to ensure its continued domination.
Small changes in store to better ‹American Idol
“American Idol” enters its seventh season tonight, coming off of the rockiest year in its history, and changes are in store, although they won’t be as dramatic as in previous seasons.
Despite its domination of the TV ratings for the past five years, “Idol” producers have always made adjustments along the way. “American Idol 4, ” for example, saw the age limit for contestants rise to 28, opening the door for singers such as Bo Bice, Constantine Maroulis and Taylor Hicks, and the audition process was split between the sexes to ensure that there would be six men and six women in the top 12.
But, like the show’s past winners, some changes have been more successful than others.
Season 7 of ‘American Idol’ to focus on contestants’ lives
Some may think “American Idol” has run its course and should give up the fight. But Fox’s behemoth will continue to thrive for several more seasons, regardless of mounting evidence that the “Idol” brand is going downhill.
As it embarks on its seventh season, it seems clear that many more people will earn their place in Randy Jackson’s ever-expanding “dawg” pack; there will be more goofy, nonsensical noncritiques from Paula Abdul, scads more meanness from Simon Cowell and gobs of yet-to-betapped smarm from Ryan Seacrest.
Yet the franchise is plagued by bad signs. Past winners Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks lost their recording contracts, but you should have seen that coming from Studdard’s first lousy sales figures and several tabloids’ half-hearted attempts to brand Hicks (a prematurely graying potato) as sexy.
Getting It Up for American Idol
On the OFFICIAL American Idol website, Fox boasts that …the thrill is in the air. Is anyone else feeling it? Because Im kind of just not ¦yet.
The buzz is that this will be the highest rated AI season yet. Or the lowest. Or somewhere in between. All the chatter about what the writers strike means for AI proves only one thing. Nobody has a clue.
I tend to fall into the camp that believes this will be a pretty big ratings year for Idol. I mean, what else are people watching? Folks who watch television the old fashioned way (you know, like when the show is actually on in real time) will peruse whatever bullhunky the networks throw their way (witness how little the writers strike has affected the actual ratings).
American Idol 7 predictions: The worst is yet to come
There are many things that I love in life. American Idol is not one of them.
While blogging about Idol may seem like a dream job, to me it like being awake during a five-month long colonoscopy administered by Ryan Seacrest. Especially because it seems he would enjoy it.
I wont go as far as to say American Idol sucks. Ill go even further:
American Idol is the worst show on TV. Ever.
If I had to choose to watch either American Idol or the television monitor used during the aforementioned rectal procedure, let just say Id really know who I was on the inside.
Is ‘Idol’ losing its luster? Cowell argues otherwise
After six years, is “American Idol” starting to fray around the edges? Are cracks starting to show in what has been a true pop culture juggernaut?
There’s little doubt that “Idol” – which returns for its seventh season Tuesday – will remain the most-watched show on TV this season. For one thing, it will have even less competition than usual because of the prolonged strike by television and film writers.
But at the same time, there are signs of trouble in “Idol” world.
Last season, its viewership flattened after years of growth – although its average audience of 30 million easily topped the Nielsen charts. It also lost its grip on water-cooler chatter with a lackluster season that lost what little buzz it had
`American Idol’ Aims to Improve Season 7
“American Idol, ” for all its success, is not above tinkering ‘ especially after last year’s revolving door of celebrity mentors and Sanjaya Malakar’s improbable run.
Not TOO much tinkering, though. Why mess with a trusty formula?
The Fox ratings superpower returns for its seventh season on Tuesday, and will doubtless dominate January through May as it did last year and the year before that. It could even attract a bigger audience in 2008, thanks to the Hollywood writers strike.
But Nigel Lythgoe, an executive producer for the show, downplayed speculation that the lack of alternative programming as a result of the strike could equal more viewers for “Idol.”
“Everyone is sort of saying that there isn’t anything else on television to watch, ” Lythgoe told The Associated Press.
Dawg! Idol is back!
For the past three years, I’ve been waiting for America to come to its senses. And no, I’m not talking about anything political. I’m talking about “American Idol.”
Fox TV’s unstoppable gawk-fest of a show has been by far the No. 1-rated series on U.S. television for its past three seasons, despite the almost inarguable fact that — after its previous three seasons — it became as repetitious and predictable as an episode of “Three’s Company” (coincidentally or not, the top show of 1979).
Those of us who hate or are just plain bored to death with “Idol” always think/hope/pray that this season will finally be the one where it tanks. But it never happens. Our wishes are even more of a pipe dream this year, since the current Hollywood writers’ strike is accomplishing what “Idol” set out to do: abolishing all shows of substance from U.S. television.
Fox trots out new set, subtle tweaks to its biggest hit
Weve come to this: America now counts on Paula Abdul to save the TV season.
With the writers strike choking the life out of the prime-time schedule, Fox …American Idol makes a welcome return Tuesday night at 8 on WFXT (Ch. 25).
Start the music. Bring on the parade of talented and – oh, let be kind, for at least one moment – the not-so-much talented singers.
Last year, Fox rivals were writing …Idol obituary. Sure, the series bolted from its tracks, derailed by the fauxhawk Sanjaya train, the lackluster finalists and the crowd of celebrity mentors pimping their own albums. Two million viewers tuned out.
That left …Idol with a mere 28 million viewers every week. Most network chiefs would sell their youngest kids and throw in the family pup for those numbers. So much for an off year.
Is American Idol stuck in the ratings idle?
Tonight the talent-show saga …American Idol launches its seventh season, and even before the first off-key note has been issued, the Fox network and the show producers must be wondering: Is the Fat Lady already singing?
For six years …Idol has been a prime-time juggernaut. However, the numbers from last year suggest that the show may have slipped past its prime.
According to Nielsen figures, ratings for the 2007 season were down more than 3 percent from the year before. More ominously, figures for the final performances and the finale were the lowest in three years and down significantly ‘ nearly 6 million viewers each night ‘ from 2006.
REVVING UP ‘IDOL’: Warm up that couch, it’s time for another stint with Simon, Paula and Randy
It doesnt feel like a year since we were introduced to Sanjaya Malakar and his striking sister, Shyamali.
And I cant say I have any recollection of a limp-haired Blake Lewis gamely spitting and popping his way through an audition, because I traditionally ignore the first couple of weeks of American Idol – you know, when the producers purposely corral the dopiest and shrillest of the wannabes so we can sit on our couches and chuckle at their patheticness in between stuffing handfuls of Tostitos in our mouths.
But today, the cycle begins again – season seven of Idol
Insta-success may be just an ‘Idol’ dream
“American Idol” launches its seventh season on Fox tonight, but newbie vocalists vying for prime time’s biggest prize may be troubled by recent news. It seems that the days of winning “Idol” and automatically becoming one not only are long gone, but were a mirage in the first place.
Last week, Taylor Hicks, who won season 5, was dropped by his record label after selling 699, 000 copies of his 2006 debut, which disappointed Arista. Soon after that, his runner-up, Katharine McPhee – who didn’t quite hit the 400, 000 mark with her RCA release – was also shown the door. Add to that list season 2 victor Ruben Studdard, who got the boot from J Records late last year. (All three recorded for subsidiary imprints of Sony BMG, which has contractual first dibs on “Idol” contestants.)
“American Idol” to dominate strike-hit U.S. TVLOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. television’s top show, “American Idol, ” returns to the Fox network on Tuesday, poised to stand taller than ever in the ratings as it arrives in a prime-time landscape clouded by the Hollywood writers strike.
Anticipating another blockbuster season for the TV talent competition, advertisers already have ponied up banner prices for the seventh round of “Idol, ” making it again the most lucrative regularly scheduled series in prime time.
Generally airing twice weekly, the show averaged over 30 million viewers per episode last season.
Months before the writers strike began, a 30-second commercial for the 2008 season of “Idol” was going for roughly $750, 000, with the price jumping to at least $900, 000 for the same ad sold in the “scatter market” just before the show’s return, according to media buyers familiar with the deals.
Entering its seventh season, ‘American Idol’ shows no signs of slowing. And with a few tweaks (and the ongoing writers strike) it may be bigger than ever.
Almost as soon as commercials for the upcoming season of American Idol start popping up on Fox — you know the ones, with the garish, off-key warbling — the dire predictions begin.
“Idol’s finished! There’s no way it’ll be as popular this season!”
Like clockwork, this TV juggernaut is raked over the coals by its detractors, who would be ecstatic to see Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul get a cancellation notice. The only problem is that American Idol continues to be one of the most highly rated, consistently entertaining and successful shows on the air and, particularly this year, with an ongoing writers strike, is poised to be positively gigantic. The seventh season of AI premieres at 7 tonight on Fox.
Idol lights up little girl’s life
While she may not call him her boyfriend as much to avoid teasing by her sisters, Mackenzie Johnson still has a bond with an American Idol.
It started when the 6-year-old first saw Ace Young during the show’s fifth season.
The bond has grown, including meeting him backstage in concert and playing with him in her hospital room one month before a transplant to help her battle leukemia.
The gifts Young has given the Wauconda girl are something her mom, Amy, is grateful for.
A story, told by Amy, highlighting the impact the show — and Young — had on Mackenzie’s life is among the featured stories in “Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul.”
The New American Idol Season: Will We See A Rebound, or a Dead Cat Bounce?
Tomorrow night the seventh season of American Idol begins, and the show’s profile as a star-making factory isn’t exactly sparkling at present: One of its former finalists is in forced rehab, two of its winners just got dropped by their record labels while another one has had a protracted tussle with hers, and two runners-up are staying in the news by staying classy. On top of that, the show is coming off its first season of declining viewership, and its Idol-for-groups spinoff The Next Great American Band didn’t do so, erm, great. Which is probably why the show’s producers are retooling major parts of the whole enterprise, and letting every media outlet know that America will see a newer, flashier Idol tomorrow. After the jump, we compile the show’s season-seven “innovations, ” and rate them on a scale of one to five of the ever-ubiquitous Coca-Cola cups that rest in front of each judge while they’re being warbled at.
If an American Idol Falls in the Woods, Does It Make a Sound?
If you’ve been anywhere near a television screen for even five seconds recently, you’ll know that the seventh season of American Idol starts tomorrow. You’re familiar with the drill: a series of awful auditions followed by some trying-too-hard-to-be-vicious critique from Simon Cowell and his scary pecs, Paula Abdul’s Southern Comfort ‘n’ cough syrup ramblings, and Randy Jackson saying whatever the hell Randy Jackson says, punctuated by a reference to canines. All that, plus the upbeat, sexually ambiguous stylings of Ryan Seacrest. Please set us on fire now.
Chris Daughtry: American Idol is In a State of Decline
On the eve of the premiere of the seventh season of American Idol, one of the show most famous losers, Chris Daughtry, says that the Idol franchise is starting to lose its luster. …I feel like it definitely lacking some credibility at this point, says Daughtry, who came in fourth place on the 2006 season but went on to sell 3.6 million copies of his debut record and be named one of Nielsen top ten selling artists of 2007. …It in a state of decline and if they dont do something about it, it probably not gonna last too much longer. Im sure thatll be used against me, but that the truth, you know?
I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m…..Just being honest!
It’s so sad that when you’re asked something and you answer honestly….you’re made out to be the bad guy. Yes, I’m referring to the Rolling Stone post. The funny thing is, if you heard the whole conversation you would’ve heard all the good things I said about the show as well. Like for instance: How it’s an amazing platform to launch a career…..”If you take it seriously!!!!” Let’s not forget I was a struggling artist for 11 years that never got any respect or notoriety so know that I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity that Idol gave me. And that’s where my comments came from. It all started when the interviewer (who was great by the way) asked me where the “Idol stigma everyone talks about” comes from. Ya know….the reason people never take anyone from the show serious in the real world and why people say “oh they came from AI, they’re not real artists.”
I Feel a Fever Coming On…Idol Fever
Everybody loves a success story, right? Right?
Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case with American Idol these days, as media critics and former contestants alike seem to be jumping on the backlash bandwagon and trying to convince us all that the biggest show on television is…brace yourselves…doomed! [Cue scary music…then laugh track.]
Today, Chris Daughtry told Rolling Stone that AI is “lacking some credibility” and “probably isn’t gonna last too much longer, ” while Newsday insists the sixth season “stunk” and bitter bloggers like this one on phillyburbs.com are going as far as to say that Idol is “the worst show on television.” (Apparently he hasn’t seen Crowned.)
And I’m sorry, but I just find the whole thing laughable.
‘Cause if ever there were a time for Idol to blast onto the airwaves to record numbers and kick ass in every way, it is now.
Expect another big draw for ‘Idol’ thanks to the writers’ strike
American Idol is kind of like the NBA.
The regular season’s a grind. It’s not until the playoffs that it gets really interesting.
When Idol kicks off another season tonight, we will of course be treated, if that’s the word, to auditions in which we will hear ear-piercing wails and soul-shaking shrieks, along with the occasional good singer.
This will proceed for a few weeks, until sometime in March when the group is whittled down to a dozen, who will descend on Hollywood with dreams of record contracts dancing in their heads – and bouncing off our ears.
Sound cynical? Not at all. Like it or not, Idol has become a TV institution, for lots of reasons.
Like with any hit show, Idol sticks with a tried-and-true formula. You know generally what you’re going to get when you tune in. It’s the specifics that differ from year to year.
Peek at new ‘Idol’ season
“American Idol” seems to live in an alternate TV universe.
Other shows fret about fading fans and drooping ratings. “Idol” did decline a bit last season, but can shrug it off. “If we lost 50 percent of our ratings, we’d still be the No. 1 show, ” producer Nigel Lythgoe says, exaggerating only slightly.
And as the effects of the writers’ strike grew, “Idol” seemed immune. “People say we’re going to have a bumper year, ” Lythgoe says.
Other shows fear that a reality overload will leave all shows seeming like rag-tag rejects. “Idol, ” however, has its place set: It was already No. 1, even when TV still had writers and scripts and choices.
Paula Abdul, Chris Daughtry, ‘American Idol’ & More, In For The Record
Paula Abdul doesn’t just have the seventh season of “American Idol” on her mind these days. “I want kids!” the singer recently told Ladies’ Home Journal for its February issue. “If it doesn’t happen naturally, I can always adopt.” The 45-year-old Abdul opened up even more about her personal life, saying of 32-year-old boyfriend J.T. Torregiani, “I’ve experienced real loneliness, so I love knowing there’s someone I can share the good and the not-so-good with.” … Everyone’s wondering how the seventh season of “Idol” is going to fare in light of some retooling and the writers’ strike, but if you ask Chris Daughtry, the show is “in a state of decline.” The Daughtry frontman recently spoke with RollingStone.com about the show, adding that if it doesn’t right itself, “it’s probably not gonna last too much longer. I’m sure that’ll be used against me, but that’s the truth, you know?” He also said the show is “definitely lacking some credibility at this point.” …
Crooner Clay Aiken to take place among knights of the Round Table
Get ready! American Idol superstar Clay Aiken joins the Tony award-winning musical Monty Python’s Spamalot, causing a line at the doors of the Shubert Theatre on West 44th Street beginning Friday. And he’ll stick with this hilarious show through May 4.
Director Mike Nichols: “Clay is amazing, beyond that glorious voice. Turns out he is an excellent comic actor and a master of character. People are going to be surprised by his wide-ranging talent, since the first impression is of great country charm and a singer to remember. This guy is not only a star; he is a lot more. We’re lucky to get him for Spamalot!”
Ding-Dong! What a gift!
Thinking on Mr. Nichols, let’s mention his personal triumph – Charlie Wilson’s War, one of the best movies of the year.
Clay Aiken vs. ‹Newsweek Reporter: A Catfight?
Every journalist who has to talk to celebrities at some point has to deal with attacks. A star will tire of the reporter’s probing questions and will suddenly lash out. There are a few traditional means of doing this. First, and most common, is the “Why did you decide to do this for your job? There are hundreds of people dying in Iraq and you are asking me about my sex tape?” approach. Then, sometimes, there’s the “I’m calling my publicist and none of her other clients will work with you if this is how you operate, ” tactic (otherwise known as “I’M TELLING MOM!”). And finally, there’s the “I thought you were better than this!” routine, which celebrities always think will work, but never does, because, hello, we’re reporters and you can’t appeal to our sense of shame because we dont have one. This last mode was the one taken by Clay Aiken when Newsweek sent cute boy reporter Ramin Setoodeh to interview him about debuting in Spamalot this week, and to ask him about the whole incident with Kelly Ripa last year. (You remember, when she snapped at Aiken for putting his hand over her mouth, by saying, “I don’t know where that hand has been, ” and then Rosie went bananas about it on The View and called Ripa a homophobe?) The minute Setoodeh brought it up, things went very downhill very fast:
Mariah, Paula, ‘Idols’ Join Jackson’s ‘Club’
Randy Jackson has a busy first quarter ahead of him. Not only will the musician/producer be returning to the stage this week as a judge on “American Idol, ” but come March 11, the musician/producer will also have a new album to support.
Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul, Joss Stone, Travis Tritt, Jason Mraz and former “Idol” finalists Elliott Yamin and Katharine McPhee are amongst the artists making appearances on “Randy Jackson’s Music Club, Vol. 1, ” which will be released on Jackson’s Concord Music Group imprint, Dream Merchant.
How Great Thou Art Gospel Favorites Live from the Grand Ole Opry in Stores Feb. 5
RCA Records Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry have come together to celebrate and showcase the amazing gospel music that is performed regularly at the Grand Ole Opry each year by country music biggest stars. This unique collection features twelve gospel songs recorded live at the Grand Ole Opry by artists including Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels Band with Third Day Mac Powell, Sara Evans, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Patty Loveless, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Milsap, Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites, and Carrie Underwood. How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites Live From The Grand Ole Opry will be released on February 5, 2008 on RCA Records.
…When I was asked to be a part of this project, I wanted to choose aclassic song that had stood the test of time, shares Carrie Underwood. …I wanted a standard gospel song that has really touched people. How Great Thou Art features standard gospel classics including …Ill Fly Away, …Give Me Jesus, …Old Rugged Cross, and …How Great Thou Art, among others.
Katharine McPhee Photos Leak: American Idol Offers Wedding Pics?
It’s the latest Hollywood tradition and Katharine McPhee may be joining in for an American idol sell off. According to a report from the New York Daily News she is willing to sell her photos of her upcoming wedding and she would like to collect about sixty grand for the pictures. Is that too much money?
Ben Widdicombe has the leak in his morning Gatecrasher column and it appears that all of the usual players are involved but so far no one is taking a nibble at the elevated price. McPhee has run into a bit of trouble of late as her record label has reportedly dumped her.
Let the Paula Abdul craziness begin
Although live episodes of …American Idol are still several weeks away, many people close to judge Paula Abdul are gearing up to begin keeping track of how many assistants she will tear through during the course of the season.
…Last season it was an absolute revolving door of assistants, said one person who spends a great deal of time with Abdul during the course of …Idol. …I’m definitely going to try to keep count this year. Some people would last weeks, others just days. She cant be kept happy, you never know what shell lash out about next.