Ok peeps, I know, with Simon Cowell leaving American Idol at the end of Season 9, it appears that the party is over. But, I’m choosing to look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty.
The key thing right now, is the casting. FOX has to carefully choose Simon’s successor. I expect whoever it is, will be a marque name, rather than an unknown. And TPTB have to be careful not to make the new guy too much like Simon (to unfavorable comparisons), but able to fill Simon’s role as the “tough guy” on Idol.
It seems like a tall order, but it can be done.
The biggest danger here is saturation. With two singing competition shows running back to back, Idol will no longer be “event” television.
If one show doesn’t dominate the other, it could turn out that ratings for both are just so-so, with viewers split between the two programs. Plus, there could be a flood of contest winners out in the market place, with the two show’s alumni competing for sales.
Will folks become even less likely to run out and buy the records of their favorite contestants with so many of them competing?
Thing is, if Idol lost half it’s audience, it would probably still make a profit for FOX. So, even if a noticable portion of Idol’s audience runs after Idol on X Factor and don’t look back, Idol could still survive.
Time will tell. But I do know, I’ll be covering both shows. Oh yeah.
After the jump…. Reactions are coming fast and furious. Plus, the news and opinion articles are pouring in… (Keep checking back as I update)
Not much twitter action from the Idols yet. Season 6 Idol, Phil Stacey says, “American idol without Simon Cowell is like bread without flour…”
If you don’t know what X Factor is, MTV explains it all right HERE.
Ew’s Michael Slezak is confident Idol can survive the loss of Simon. (So am I). MTV’s Jim Cantiello? Not so much. Also not so confident? A study that says nearly half of the American Idol viewers would watch the show less if Simon leaves.
Will Cowell’s Exit Help American Idol? The “Experts” Weigh in! (Ha ha!)
Paula Abdul responds to her many tweets:
“Hey Guys! I’m not ignoring all of your tweets regarding me, XFactor and Simon leaving AI. I look forward to being able to answer all your questions very soon! I appreciate all your continued support and patients! All my Love! Paula”
Ellen Degeneres reacts during the taping of her talk show today:
“I got some news for you. So this just happened, Simon Cowell just announced that he’s leaving Idol. This will be his last season…He announced he’s leaving on my first day. I’m trying not to take it personally…But seriously, I am going to be very, very sad to see him go, because I think he’s made the show what it is. He’s a huge part of that show, but he wanted a change…I wish him all the luck in the world hosting The Tonight Show.”
Ryan Seacrest reacts (via twitter):
this is simon’s last season on idol. He’s working on US version of x-factor! He is one of the most brilliant people in our biz! Congrats…i’m gonna interview simon tomorrow on the radio show…will ask him if @paulaabdul will be on x-factor. I’ll link u guys audio after…Simon just called from the car…we are going to have fun this season…he said randy’s reaction was …”Yo yo YO” and a heartfelt “dawg”
Kara DioGuardi and Paula Abdul react (via ET)
Kara told Valentine in the Morning on 104.3 MyFM that Simon did not fill her in on his plans to leave the judges’ panel. “He’s so important to the show. I think I was a fan before I was on the show and he would be really missed, ” she says.
Paula Abdul also spoke to ET following the news that Simon was leaving “Idol, ” saying she was “grateful for everyone reaching out to me.”
A prescient Richard Rushfield writes today for the Daily Beast about why Simon Cowell left Idol (It’s the power, not the money. Duh.)
When Fuller first pitched the idea of the television talent hunt/singing competition, what would be Pop Idol in Britain, it was Cowell who accompanied him to the meetings. But as the show exploded first in the UK, and then in the much larger American market, it began to dawn on Cowell that in this empire he had helped create, he was, in the final analysis just talent.â€ The control, the power, the ownership of the show, all resided with others, including his old chum Fuller.
And so he began to assert himself more on the Idol set. Cowell is said to have clashed with the flamboyant and brilliant executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, American Idolâ€™s showrunner, who eventually left after its seventh season.
(Ironically, bringing The X Factor to the U.S. at the possible expense of Idol does not represent a defeat of Fuller: He has part ownership of the show.)