I have to admit, I've never really watched a full episode of American Idol. My exposure to the show is pretty much limited to a couple of minutes here and a few minutes there for the most part (although I did watch a decent chunk of an episode or two last year because I was fascinated by Taylor Hicks, because of an incorrect initial impression that he was a very old contestant).
And I honestly didn't think that the talent extravaganza owned by CKX
What's cool about this concept is that it doesn't feel like a jump-the-shark moment -- indeed, stakeholders of both CKX and News Corp. hope this franchise never pulls a Fonzie. Although the main focus of Idol will always be the potential idols themselves, I think a side contest makes a lot of creative sense. For one thing, it will fit nicely -- after all, singers do need songs. For another thing, it adds variety to the show's DNA without causing any radical mutations. In addition, it allows the franchise to experiment with ideas that might be useful for other projects -- could an American Songwriter idea work?
That might be thinking too far ahead, considering that the exact mechanism and details of the extra competition have yet to be finalized; it's also been reported that it might not actually take place until later in the season, and may involve making some of the song submissions available for viewer scrutiny on the program's website. Nevertheless, News Corp. will have a lot to look forward to this year in its eternal quest to effectively compete with CBS
It's anybody's guess as to when American Idol will finally run its course, but it experienced double-digit ratings growth last year, and it seems to have a lot of momentum behind it. A songwriting competition may add a further dimension of success to this already monumental television achievement. News Corp.'s Fox asset will benefit from the antics of Simon, Paula, and Randy over the next five months -- and who knows, maybe I'll sit down to watch a full episode for once.
Past Foolish fun with American Idol:
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney and General Electric. As of this writing, he was ranked 3,376 out of 19,864 investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.