No Simon Cowell Return For ‘American Idol’, Says EP; Show “Happy” With Ratings Opposite Olympics

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 12:31pm PST


One place where Simon Cowell won’t be landing this season following the cancellation of the U.S. version of his The X Factor: American Idol. “No, he’s not going to be on the show at all,” Idol executive producer Per Blankens said today during a press event on the show’s new LA set. “I’ve heard he’s going to the UK to do X Factor,” he added. (He is.) The possibility of Cowell’s return after simon cowellFox last week axed X Factor was as one of several topics addressed in a sit-down with new Idol EPs Blankens, Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager. The trio was joined by Idol’s new director Louis J. Horvitz, set designer Baz Halpin, and returning EP and FremantleMedia president of entertainment programming Trish Kinane. Also there was Fox’s David Hill, the Senior EVP of 21st Century Fox and former chairman and CEO of Fox Sports who was put in charge of the show and the now cancelled X-Factor in early June.

Related: ‘Idol’ “Listened To Viewers” & Changed Format, Says EP

Season 13 of Idol launched to a premiere low January 15 as the show has been trying to get its once mighty mojo back with a reconfigured judging panel and new showrunners. The show moves into its live shows next week, going head-to-head with NBC’s Sochi Olympics. That isn’t a big worry, Blankens told me. “The ratings are doing OK considering and there is really nothing you can do about the Olympics — we knew when we did the schedule that we’d be facing it. Added Kinane: “The ratings have stabilized and we’re very happy with where they are against the Olympics. We’re up over where we were in 2010,” she said.

“What we hope with the live shows next week and going forward is that we can reconnect with the fans and get them to come back home,” Blankens said. “A lot of people love Idol but I think they didn’t approve of the way some things went last year.” Among the format tweaks: for the live shows beginning Wednesday viewers will be able to vote at the beginning of the show as opposed to the end as in past seasons.

Related: ‘Idol’ Partners With Google & Facebook For Online Voting

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Sochi Olympics’ 1st Wednesday Free-Falls From Vancouver 2010, ‘Idol’ Down Less Than Four Years Ago

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 12:49pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821The first Wednesday of the 2014 Sochi Olympics saw Matt Lauer sitting in for an ailing Bob Costas again on NBC‘s primetime coverage and the return of an old rivalry. It wasn’t the U.S. and Canada women’s hockey teams — though they did play yesterday. Rather it was a direct match-up with American IdolFor just the second Winter Games in a row, NBC’s coverage beat the Fox singing competition in adults 18-49 and viewership – but not by as wide a margin as in 2010. Otherwise, it looks like NBC might want to get Costas back as soon as possible. Overall, fueled by snowboarding, lots of skating, and Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin’s historic downhill Alpine skiing gold medal tie, the network’s OLY-2014-SKI-ALPINE-DOWNHILL-WOMEN-MEDALSprimetime broadcast drew a 5.6/16 rating last night. That’s a weeknight low for the Sochi Games and down a hard 37%  from the 8.9/23 of the comparable night of February 17, 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics. That Wednesday four years ago was one of the biggest nights ratingswise of the Vancouver Games. NBC’s Wednesday Olympics package last night pulled in 20.77 million viewers, another fall from four years ago when the audience was a stellar 29.3 million. By the way, NBC announced this morning that Lauer will be at the Olympics anchor desk again tonight. We’ll update with Wednesday’s final Olympics numbers when they come in.

Related: Olympics 5-Day Ratings Even With Vancouver 2010, Ahead Of Torino

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Winter Olympics’ Soft Launch Scores NBC Best Thursday Since NFL 2013 Season Opener

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 9:00am PST

SochiOlympicsNBC__131021180345__140123184857__140127203358UPDATED: With NBC beginng its Olympics primetime coverage the day before the Opening Ceremony for the first time, the network and the Sochi Games literally kicked off yesterday on a slippery slope. Still, it went straight to the top, with the network pulling in an 11.8/18 overnight rating. That will easily make NBC tops for the night and is the best Thursday primetime result for the network since the 14.9/25 result of the NFL regular season opener on September 5, 2013. That Denver Bronco vs. Baltimore Ravens game was the best Thursday night average for any of the Big 4 OLY-2014-FREESTYLE-MOGULS-WOMENgoing back to NBC’s 2012 London Olympics coverage. Check out the Top 10 markets (yes, Denver is one of them) for the first day of Olympics coverage below.

There were no medals handed out, but NBC’s tape-delayed first day included coverage of the new Slopestyle snowboarding event (minus Shaun White), Freestyle Skiing, Figure Skating and some pointed political observations from primetime host Bob Costas. Because of the addition of a dozen new events, Sochi organizers stacked an extra day at the beginning of the Games to fit in all 98 events in 15 disciplines. Officially the Winter Games begins today and runs until the Closing Ceremony on February 23.

Related: Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Farewell Hits 5-Year Ratings High Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ Inches Up, ‘Criminal Minds’ 200th Episode Rises

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 9:14am PST
Nellie Andreeva

200thLast night we bid adieu to the regular broadcast schedule as we switch to Olympics mode for the next two and a half weeks, starting tonight, the first time Olympics games have started with primetime coverage the day before the opening … Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Rake’ Drops In Week 2, CBS Comedies Down In Return From Break

By | Friday January 31, 2014 @ 9:28am PST
Nellie Andreeva

CThere is no way of sugarcoating this — Fox’s Rake is in big trouble. After an underwhelming 1.7 18-49 rating for its premiere last week, the drama starring Greg Kinnear dropped an alarming 24% to a 1.3 in its second outing last night, matching the average of Fox’s last drama misfire, fall 2012′s Mob Doctor, before it was cancelled. And that was despite a solid lead-in from American Idol (3.1), which weathered The Big Bang storm relatively well, down 6% from last week.

Viewers punished CBS for playing hide-and-seek with them on Thursday — bringing the lineup back from winter hiatus on January 9 only to send it immediately back to two weeks of repeats. The network’s entire comedy block last night was down double digits from their last originals on January 9. In its first airing against American Idol this season, Big Bang (5.1) was down 9%. The Millers (2.8) was down 15%. The Crazy Ones (1.9) and Two And A Half Man (1.9) were both down 21% to tie series lows. At 10 PM, Elementary (2.0) held down the fort, even with its last original. CBS still won the night in 18-49 (2.6) and total viewers (11.3 million). Read More »

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‘American Idol’ Partners With Google & Facebook For Online Voting, Takes On ‘Rising Star’ With Real-Live Voting Updates

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 10:52am PST
Nellie Andreeva

American IdolWhen Fox confirmed recently that AT&T, which had been one of the main sponsors of the singing competition since Season 2, will not return for the current 13th season, the move appeared to be a sign of the times. … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC & NBC Lineups Rebound, ‘Idol’ Slips, CBS Dramas Hit Lows

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 9:49am PST
Nellie Andreeva

After taking an across-the-board hit last week against the season premiere of American Idol, ABC and NBC perked up american idol logolast night when HUT levels also rose vs. last Wednesday. The Middle (2.2/7) was up +22%, Suburgatory (1.8/5) +13%, … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ Slips, Pushes Down ABC & NBC Lineups, ‘Michael J. Fox Show’ Drops To 0.6 Rating

By | Friday January 17, 2014 @ 9:27am PST
Nellie Andreeva

The second night of the American Idol season premiere last night drew a 3.8 in adults 18-49. MichaelJFoxShowThat is down 32% from the Thursday premiere last year, a steeper decline than the 22% drop for the show’s Wednesday debut. Idol was helped by lesser competition from CBS, whose lineup, led by juggernaut The Big Bang Theory, was in repeats.

The ratings momentum for NBC’s anemic Thursday comedy block was short-lived. After posting gains last week, all comedies retreated last night against Idol despite facing comedy reruns on CBS. Community (1.1) was down 21%, Parks & Recreation (1.2) was down 20%, and Sean Saves The World (0.8) was down 20% to tie a series low. The Michael J Fox Show (0.6) fared the worst, plunging 40% despite getting a promo push at the Golden Globes. A series rarely lives to see another airing after posting such rating (see ABC’s The Assets last week), though NBC had stressed its commitment to the show, which has finished production on its 22-episode order, and doesn’t have many alternatives for the slot. At 10 PM, Parenthood (1.2) was down 8% from last week to tie a series low. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ Hits New Premiere Low, ‘Chicago PD’ Drops In Week 2, ‘Suburgatory’ Down In Return

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 8:12am PST
Nellie Andreeva

americanidolUPDATE 11:30 AM: In the finals, American Idol’s season premiere went up a 4.7 in 18-49 and 15.2 million viewers.

American Idol seems to have gotten at least some of its mojo back, judging by the favorable … Read More »

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Longtime ‘American Idol’ Sponsor AT&T Exits, Ford & Coca-Cola Back

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 5:31pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

attidolAn American Idol staple — the AT&T voting numbers read by host Ryan Seacrest after every performance — are gone. AT&T, which joined the Fox singing competition in Season 2, will not return for Idol’s upcoming 13th season. … Read More »

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Watch: ‘American Idol’ Season XIII Live Q&A

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST

Fox‘s American Idol is hosting a preview event at 5:30 PM PT ahead of tomorrow’s Season XII premiere. Watch the live-streamed Q&A with judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., Keith Urban, and host Ryan Seacrest:

Related: TCA: ‘American Idol’ “Listened To Viewers”
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TCA: ‘American Idol’ “Listened To Viewers” And Changed Format, Says EP

By | Monday January 13, 2014 @ 2:49pm PST

“We listened to the viewers and they told us they’re fed upTCADeadline__140109155905 with the middle rounds after Hollywood Week and before the live shows, so we’ve shortened all of that down, condensed the middle round into one week – we’re calling it Rush Week,” American Idol exec producer Trish Kinane told TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2014.

idoltcaThey’ve also added something called The Chamber, where Idolettes go after host Ryan Seacrest tells them that in a couple minutes they’ve got to “give it their all,” Kinane explained, where we’ll see them pray, sing, check their armpits for sweat — whatever. “It’s a very intimate moment,” she told critics. Read More »

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Louis J. Horvitz To Direct ‘American Idol’ This Season

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 12:21pm PST

In addition to a reconfigured judging panel and new showrunners,  American Idol will have a new director this season: Seven time Emmy Award-winning americanidolmikeproducer/director/writer Louis J. Horvitz. He replaces Gregg Gelfand. Horvitz is one of the go-to directors for live TV, having overseen the live broadcasts of the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Grammy Awards and the Kennedy Center Honors ceremonies. He has won five Emmy Awards for his work on the Oscars and two for his work on the Kennedy Center Honors. “We are incredibly lucky to have Louis joining American Idol XIII this season,” said Trish Kinane, President of Entertainment Programming, FremantleMedia North America. “He is a true talent who has overseen some of the most glamorous and entertaining productions on U.S. television.”

American Idol debuts with a two-night, four-hour premiere Wednesday, January 15 (8-10 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, January 16 (8-10 PM ET/PT). The new judging panel includes returning Jennifer Lopez, who took off last season, as well as last season’s freshman Keith Urban; they’re joined by new judge Harry Connick, Jr., Randy Jackson has taken over the mentor role. Read More »

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Fox Announces Premiere Dates For ‘The Following’, ‘Rake’ & ‘American Idol’

By | Friday October 25, 2013 @ 12:10pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox has set return dates for sophomore drama The Following and American Idol and a premiere date for new drama Rake. Season 13 of American Idol will have a two-night launch January 15-16. Sleepy Hollow will wrap its freshman season on January 20 at 8 PM, leading to the second-season debut of Following, which will succeed Sleepy Hollow, returning to its Monday 9 PM slot. New legal drama Rake will kick off on Sunday, January 19, following the NFC Championship Game, before moving into its Thursday 9 PM berth on January 23. New comedy Enlisted will debut on Friday, January 10. The network also confirmed that new comedy Surviving Jack will air behind Idol on Thursdays for eight episodes in spring (no premiere date set yet) when Idol‘s result show is cut to 30 minutes for the first time, and noted that fellow midseason comedy Us & Them also will have a spring debut. The new season of Fox’s Saturday late-night Animation Domination High-Def block will launch January 11 with Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Golan The Insatiable. Here are Fox’s midseason premiere date:

Related: Fox’s ‘Surviving Jack’ Gets Post-‘Idol’ Slot, Order Trimmed; ‘Dads’ Expected To Get Back Order Read More »

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Fox’s ‘Surviving Jack’ Gets Post ‘American Idol’ Slot, Order Trimmed To 8 Episodes, ‘Dads’ Expected To Get Back Order

By | Friday October 25, 2013 @ 11:22am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Fox is firming up its midseason comedy scheduling plans. I’ve learned that the network is going to launch Surviving Jack after American Idol on Thursday. The comedy’s order has been trimmed from 13 to … Read More »

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First Photo Of ‘American Idol’s New Judges

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 5:02pm PDT

With everything and everyone officially coming together at the last minute like last year, American Idol’s judges for the upcoming thirteenth season are finally seated. Keith Urban is back from last year and, as announced earlier today, Jennifer Lopez is back after exiting the season before … Read More »

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Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez Confirmed As ‘American Idol’ Judges, Randy Jackson As Mentor; Season 13 Filming Starts Today

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 7:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After the usual drama and down-to-the wire dealmaking, Fox has locked in its judging panel for the upcoming 13th season, with Harry Connick Jr and Jennifer Lopez joining Keith Urban, while original Idol judge … Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

If you missed Deadline’s top TV stories, check them out:

Harry Connick Jr To The Rescue? Crooner In The Mix For ‘American Idol’ Judge
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: He is a self-professed big fan of American Idol who has done two very well-received stints as a guest mentor on the Fox singing competition … Read More »

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Harry Connick Jr. Nears Deal For ‘American Idol’

By | Saturday August 31, 2013 @ 9:54am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The judging panel for the 13th season of American Idol is expected to be in place by the end of the weekend so production can get underway as planned. Harry Connick Jr. is finalizing a deal … Read More »

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