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James Hibberd

Update: Fox Pleased Despite 'Idol' Ratings Dip

January 16, 2008 8:40 AM

American Idol (Fox)The seventh-season premiere of Fox’s “American Idol” may have been its lowest-rated in four years, but Fox executives say they are pleased with its performance.

“I woke up thrilled this morning,” said Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox. “It’s unbelievable how big this show is in its seventh season. If you had told me in season two this would be the biggest thing in television by 12 million viewers in its seventh year, I would have said you were crazy.”

“Idol” fell from last year’s series-high premiere perch, yet once again was a ratings titan that easily blew away the competition Tuesday night, as well as all other network premieres from earlier this season.

“Idol” received a 13.8 rating among adults 18 to 49, according to national Nielsen data. That’s down 13% from last year’s 15.8 and down 10% from 2006’s 15.3. Among total viewers, “Idol” was seen by an average of 33.2 million, down 11% from last year.

Both the demo and the total-viewer figures are the lowest Tuesday-night "Idol" premiere standings since 2004.

“In the history of American television there has never been a show this dominant that the disparity between it and the next show is like 55%,” Darnell said. “I honestly believe this is the last of its kind. I don’t believe with DVRs and Internet and video games that you will ever see another show like this.”

Fox has devoted just as many resources to promoting “Idol” this season as in recent years, said Joe Earley, senior VP of marketing and communications at Fox. In fact, “Idol” received more on-air promotion than usual, since “24” was postponed due to the writers strike.

“The media spend was the same as it has been and we had more on-air weight,” Earley said. “That ‘24’ time was divided between ‘Idol’ and ‘Sarah Connor.’”

“Idol” is expected to dip slightly in its second airing tonight, as is the usual “Idol” pattern.

Contrary to last season, when the judges took critical knocks for some vicious mocking of the contestants in the opening rounds, this time Simon Cowell was on his best behavior. One rejected contestant was even given a group hug by the judges.

“The King of Mean was replaced by the Prince of Nice,” the NY Post declared.

"Why are the judges so well behaved?” asked the Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes.

Other early reviews:

Daily News: “If last night's 'Idol' kickoff wasn't a show for the memory book, it did nothing to discourage tens of millions of fans from signing up for the new ride.”

EW: “A more balanced talent-to-train-wreck ratio in the audition rounds.”

Among last night’s network competitors, Fox’s “Death Star” zapped about 30% week-to-week from NBC’s “The Biggest Loser: Couples.” (3.0).

NBC came in second place for the evening, averaging a 3.5 rating compared to Fox’s 13.8. At 10 p.m., NBC's “Law & Order: SVU” (4.6) won the hour.

In third place, CBS’ “NCIS” also held up solidly (3.0), though part two of its movie “Comanche Moon” dropped sharply from Sunday night’s premiere (2.4).

Fourth-place ABC scheduled two episodes of “Just for Laughs” (both 1.2), “According to Jim” (1.2), a “Carpoolers” repeat (0.9) and “Boston Legal” (2.0).

The CW had a "Reaper" repeat (0.6) and "One Tree Hill" (1.3), the latter down 19% against "Idol," yet besting ABC for the hour.

(Updated 4:15)


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Comments (159)


FOX is being boycotted for their LAME STREAM NEWS for trying to fix the presidnetial elections. Glad to see it's working.


Paula should hook up with that dude who wrote her that "love" song. He seemed quite smitten and the subsequent scandal would boost ratings.


Joey, FOX has the highest rated shows (especially news) of all the major networks. Feel free to enjoy the Marxist shills named ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN.


2004 was a presidential Election year - just like this year. Tuesday elections night in Michigan, more folks were off watching Fair and Balanced Fox news for election results. Fox network took the hit for this fact. Joey is incorrect.


I think the primary reason that viewers are wary of tuning in is the flawed voting system. After you have gone season after season with a voting system that unfairly ousts the best singers, you kind of give up on watching the show.

The entire point of American Idol is to make the viewer believe that they are part of something bigger than themselves. When one kid with unlimited text messaging and a blue tooth computer program can vote thousands of times an hour, your votes really don't count.

The result is somewhat reminiscent of what Ron Paul supporters have done to web and text messaging polls. If you have a few determined people with a knowledge of the technology, they can game the system and ruin the experience for everyone else.


BELLA: Jerry, you are right on, Joey, you are an idiot!


How is Fox trying to fix the Presidential election?

You must be one of those liberal kooks that watches CNN.


Previous Idol premiers didn't have to compete with a presidential debate and primary coverage.


Maybe it's because DVRs screwed up and didn't record it! My piece of junk Time Warner one missed it, despite the fact it was set properly.


Didn't some Fox affiliates in Michigan show
"Idol" at 6 P.M. to "clear the deck" for local primary coverage later in the evening?


I think Democrats have blurred the lines between American Idol and their Presidential Primary.


It seems an absurd to calculate a ratings drop, taking last years audience viewing of 15.8% to this years 13.8% and calling it a negative 13%.
If my employee's used that math, they could say the 2% raised they got this year was 100% greater then the 1% they recieved this year! Yikes!


How do some of the contestants get by the initial screening?. To put these losers on Prime Time T V. to be humiliated and mocked is not entertaining. I find it very embarrassing and think it is cruel. How many good singers are turned away to find a time slot for these poor individuals.

Real Joey:

LOL, I think tisbroken meant the Idol's voting system, not the presidential elections. That being said, TB it is the voters complacency that gets them booted out I think more than the Fox system. What would/could you change except one vote only and the system to watch that would sure be complicated. By the way Bella has it exactly right in his/her post.




I think American Idol should only put the people that actually go to Hollywood get on these auditions.

At least it will send a message that they aren't going to put the people on TV if they are just there to waste people's time.

Give me a break, these Reality shows are a way the mentally disturbed come out to get their 15 minutes of fame.

Put the people that actually pass the first round and don't show the others. It's getting to the point of being ridiculous and not worth watching.


I used to watch FOX all the time, I still watch it more than the rest. We have to admit though fox isnt no where close to being fair and balanced. That is what Republican want though. Just like MSNBC wants liberal viewers ,ABC and CBS really dont care about news and CNN is the closes to being fair even though they lean more toward liberals. If any of you ever watch all of them and can get past thinking you are all right and everybody else is wrong, Then just maybe you'll see what im saying. Most of you want though you'll get a bigger kick out of yelling at me. My GOD what makes one network really so much better than the rest? We let them tell us what to think and anyone that is so bias toward any network whats to be told how to think. Anyway, How in the world did we get to this. Im glad to say I didnt watch Idol or the news. I played with my children. How about try it sometime and the world could be muh better.


It was Boring. 'Nuff said.

Eleanor Milner:

I'd rather have a root canal than watch American Idol.


yeah right, because the average american idol viewer has soooo much in common with those watching the latest in presidential primary coverage on MSNBC! like all those Idol fans are watching hillary and romney


Joey, you are an idiot! I think you are really "John Edwards". Way to go ike, bella, and jerry!


There always seems to be a "Joey" out there somewhere who tries to turn a simple subject into something political. And in ignorant fasion, to boot.


Last night's AI was horrible. They had way too many commercials, not enough talent, whether good or bad, and focused too much on the human interest side. If I want human interest of people with no talent, I will read People mag or watch Dateline or some show like that.

I want train wrecks and talent. I want the judges to speak their minds. I want fewer commercials.

The good thing was there was less Ryan Seacrest than before.


I think the presidential candidates should be auditioned: Edwards dressed in a hoola skirt, Hillary crying and Huckabee singing gospel.

South Junkie:

Maybe the world is finally realizing that American Idol is the third most boring show ever created. No no...I take that back....American Idol is even more boring than The Joy of Painting and the Magic Bullet infomercials (actually those are pretty entertaining)

South Junkie:

I agree with Ben. And we should have Obama just stand there and chant the word HOPE and Oprah can be his back up singer and sing something about change. Hey, maybe Huckabee has some gospel choir connections and they can work as a team!!!


13.8 rating is a boycott? Right.

South Junkie:

One more thing....Ryan Seacrest is gay and a douchebag....that is all


Just another reason I gave up watching TV 6 years ago!


I seriously believe people gave up on American Idol after last year's voting fiasco.

Unless you can equalize the voting system where one household gets 8 votes then the show is dead. No one is going to watch AI when they realize their participation is useless, and that the winner is chosen by richest and most rabid fans.

American Idol has been profiting from its deal with Cingular for years as they increase the amount of text messaging each season, but this is the year that it has to stop.

Before Cingular was bought by AT&T, and most of his customers were from the south, almost every AI winner was also from the south.



I did not watch it for the reason that the last 2 seasons have been ruined by the "vote for the worst" group. I think the judges should have 1 veto night, where they boot off the one that is obviously the worst.


You people are really confused. Fox network and FoxNews network are NOT the same thing. Really, you must pay attention.


I agree with South. American Idol is SO boring! I sometimes watch the last 15 minutes of the final episode to see who won but the show is constantly interrupted by commercials. I just don't understand how people can actually ENJOY watching the show!


Can anyone say the Shark has jumped?


Maguilicuddy: i think you mean has the shark been jumped......


Why was I invited into the Third World home of the mentally disturbed glitter-faced girl and her even more deranged mother?

Why did I need to witness man-boob's chest-wax?

Why was I asked to observe a repulsively obese contestant and her even more dry-heave-inducing mother (notice the pattern?) collapse in unison after the girl's "dream" was mercifully ended? (Here honey; have a carrot stick.)

I don't have any answers, but I loved every perverse minute of it, and will continue to do so for months.

Bring on the Christians and tigers.


I watched a little bit of this show once. A lovely girl came out and sang beautifully. The judges pretty much kicked her out. Then this big old guy (turns out it's that Reuben dude)comes out and he is awful; can't carry a tune in a bucket. The judges fall to their knees and kiss his feet. I never watched again.

And then there's Simon Cowell. Did he win an Emmy for Most Irritating? The best I can say for him is that his teeth are a lot better than the English woman that ran that dumb "game show" a few years ago.

Big Dog:

Fox News has the highest rated CABLE news shows.

They draw 2.5 to 3 million viewers a night. The

nightly news on ABC, CBS and NBC draws anywhere

from 8 to 12 million viewers a night. Each. And

the official term is Fox Fake News. Get it right.


I'm going to have to agree with Ted here...I was never into AI in the past, but last night's episode was definitely entertaining, looking forward to next week.


Who freaking cares! The only good things on TV is football (almost over :() and (was) 24 but I don't care that is is postponed because of the writers strike. Actually, I hope the writers strike lasts forever because the only people who actually seem to pretend as if they care are egotistic Hollywood scum...like George Clooney.

I'm surprised even that many people tuned into this crap.


As for joey, go back to your milk and cookies before playing the fool.
As for AI, it's boring, period......


When you are too old for american idol....


As for Big Dog, Fox Fake News? Would that be why the major news (non-cable) networks having a decline in their nightly news viewership while Fox News would be kicking butt?


Can someone help me out here? I was listening to Ryan Seacrest this morning, and he and the EP of the show (NIGEL) were saying that it was the highest ratings EVER?? Were they just flat-out lying???


WWJBD.... you must realize that those who detest Fox News only do so because they are followers and heard some idiot bigwig say something negative about Fox News and so decided that they might become cool and popular if they repeat what they heard

South Junkie:

Sarah...the answer is yes.

I am assuming a lot of families aren't watching much TV since the writers strike, so that could have something to do with it.



I turned off the auditions. People are tired of idiots being featured like the bozo in the Princess Leia get-up, the foul-mouthed glittery chick from the planet "give-me-the-finger", and the weird guy in the leopard cape with some "message" song. What a waste of time!

People are also sick of the personal stories of these people at this stage of the game. We didn't need to see the apartment of the foul-mouthed ranter who couldn't sing. I liked Angela, the young woman with the disabled daughter, but we didn't need to know about her hard life as a single mom. Let the people SING. Save the sappy stories for the top 12 when we really get to know these people and form opinions. We don't need another Kellie Pickler this year who has -0- talent but sure had a good sob story.

People are getting tired of these overdrawn auditions. Last night's show could have been an hour. I was so disgusted I turned on "The Biggest Loser". At least I could cheer these people on because they were doing something GOOD!

American Idol Producers - GET A CLUE! We don't want stupid stunts and no-talent spotlight grabbers! We don't want sappy stories. WE WANT SINGERS!


Ben, and we can have Osama rapping some gangsta. Joey, what favor kool aid do you drink?


Ok...does anyone here even care AT ALL about the writers strike?! Let's take a poll


The Biggest Loser is so much better than American Idol

I do care about the strike, and I think Idol is horrible and tired. Most of the folks that go on to win have no talent, and what's even more pathetic is the judges have even less talent than the performers.

I gave up on this show two years ago.


I mean, at least you can learn something from the Biggest Loser. What do you learn from American Idol? How to be bored out of your mind?

Reporter :

Give me a break already !
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words:

T Dog:

Joey, what does politics have to do with American Idol? Moron.


Reporter....I don't get is? What is that site? Why is it relevant? The lower link portion is just a copy of Drudge Report

Former AI Fan:

I agree 100%!!!!

I also turned off the auditions last night. It was an insult to my intelligence. What are the producers of this show thinking? It was so stupid last night. I will watch again tonight, but if it's as bad as last night, I won't watch again until it's in Hollywood.

Last year should have taught the producers a lesson. It was by far the worst top 10 ever. What were they thinking by letting Antonella Barba through instead of the other girl (whose name I don't remember!) she went up against for the last spot? Barba couldn't sing worthe beans but the other singer was really good. Last year there was some girl with a lip ring who was so unique and really good, and she got the boot. We got stuck with Haley Scarnato, who couldn't hold a note in her hand and dressed like a skank. We had Sanjaya - 'nuff said there. Melinda Doolittle sang rings around everyone in the top 10 but was given the boot because she was too old. Jordin Sparks was good but not spectacular. She was better than Blake Lewis, whose talent was so limited I have no idea how he lasted so long. His CD is painful to listen to!

The American Idol producers do need to get a clue. I don't like the background stories of certain contestants either. It's a waste of time. I will admit I do like some of the bad singers for a laugh, but I think the American public wants REAL talent shown.

So please - Nigel Lithgoe please take note - only do an hour a night during the auditions. Leave out the freak shows and those who want their 15 mintues of fame. Let's see more Clay Aikens, Chris Daughtrys, Kelly Clarksons, Kimberly Lockes and Bo Bices.


Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are awful. They are anti-business, pro-illegal alien, pro-taxes. That is not what America needs.


Remember FOX programming is for people whose biggest challenge in life is to be smarter than a fifth grader.


Or, rather of yesterday's edition of Drudge. So...how is that relevant to American Idol?

Judy, Judy, Judy:

The show runs way too long. They should put only the most promising singers on. Having to watch all this "corn ball" stuff in the beginning is such a waste of time and so boring.

I do believe the voting is fixed. I NEVER vote anyway. I think the ones that make out in the end are the telephone companies. It's big bucks with all those people calling and texting.

I don't plan on watching AI anymore -- waste of time.


Hey, T.J.: Fox does NOT have the highest-rated news shows of all the major networks; it has the highest-rated news shows on BASIC CABLE, catering to people who want to watch the news through GOP-tinted glasses. Have another cup of that O'Reilly Kool-Aid.


Obama and Clinton both suck but at least if Obama is nominated he has NO chance because speeches are full of ideology and lack substance and plans...so...back to American idol and how much it sucks.......


It is all about MONEY.
And sometimes, unfortunately, money talks and those with intelligence are tossed by the wayside.
Think 'three-ring-circus'.............

It seems that sometimes the monkeys run the asylum.

Timothy Ritchie:

Fox has beat this dog to death way to long. They should have ended it a long time ago. There are actually better talent contests out there and this has become more about the "judges" whose opinion doesn't even count and the annoying host.The only contestants who have succeeded from being on this show have been ALL country music singers!


That bozo Kellie Pickler is ranked #6 in the top 60 A.I. finalists ! That is in : tv/radio/video appearances, album sales ( 800,000+ now ), concert tours with Rascall flats , Brad Paisley and by herself with her own band. She will be on Jimmy Kimmel's show next Tuesday as well as on the Ellen show the same day. She is working on her 2nd album and will start on her Fox sitcom this fall. Kellie just got back from an Iraq USO tour. Not bad for a no talent stupid hick huh !?


American Idol represents everything that is wrong with the music industry.

A karaoke contest where somebody else writes the songs and plays the instruments for you, and good looks will get you the recording contract.

RIAA can go to hell.



Not sure about all of you but I DVR'ed Idol and watched live "Comanche Moon" on CBS. This show doesnt have the best acting but its very refreshing to see a western on TV. Reality TV is dumbing down our entertainment. Westerns rock!! No wonder "3:10 to Yuma" did so well at the box office. We need more westerns please.. =)


Fox is backing Rudy for President so they are slanted that way!

Barbara in Norman:

I loved every strange moment of last nights auditions. Can't wait
for tonight. I like the balance of the good, bad and truly awful.
I think the personal stories make it much more interesting.

As far as FOX news, they are doing something right to be ahead in the ratings compared to ALL of the other major cable news channels COMBINED! They are fair and balanced, having both liberal and conservative sides presented. That is more than you can say for CNN. Even objective news rating think tanks say that the major channels are much more positive with liberals than conservatives. I am glad I have a choice!!!

The bottom line is simple, 'Been there, done that.'

It's the unspoken curse of reality TV. You can only cram the same concept down the viewers throat just so long. Eventually they're going to holler 'Next!'.

Politics has absolutely nothing to do with it. People are bored with it. End of story.


Most of the people that have gone on to prosperous careers were not crowned "The American Idol". There got themselves noticed and were picked up by someone and have gone on to be winners -- Chris Dautry for example !!

Tues night MSNBC was holding the Democratic Debate in Nevada. CNN and Fox were holding the Michigan results for the Republican Party.

The beginning of American Idol HAS gotten to be a bit of a bore. Showing all those CRAZY acts when others with a little bit of actual talent is being ignored. I think this HURTS the show.


they should screen all idol try outs,
many of the ones shown are obviously mentally retarded, and it is sad to exploit them,
in addition many are so absurd in dress, and song style, and lack of tone, or pitch, it is sad, not to mention the grossly obese types
screen them and only show the ones who will make it, why expose us to the weirdos??


J.D....that is not even true...at all. Besides...if they were leaning so right then why would they back the most liberal candidate for the GOP?? Where the heck did you get that untrue information?


I don't watch Idol but my wife does and even she complained when it was over about the same things I am reading above. Too many human interest stories about people who aren't even going to Hollywood... WHO CARES ABOUT THEIR STORY! Just show us train wrecks or great singers but leave the human interest garbage until the end. I doubt my wife will watch it again until it gets close to the end... and that surprises me coming from her. Typical network execs with their heads in the sand completely cut-off from the real wants of their viewers.


The reason they include all those nut-jobs is simple: viewers love a train wreck! You don't want to watch it but you just can't tear your eyes away either. What do you think would happen if they weeded out all of the no-talent and only featured the truly good singers pre-Hollywood? It would be boring and ratings would drop. It is ENTERTAINMENT after all and out of all the winners thus far, how many have actually become "American Idols"? Kelly Clarkson is the closest but I wouldn't exactly consider her an idol. I could do without the back stories, at least until the top 12 or so.


your arguments over political preference and bias are the very reasons that these news corporations (and they ARE corporations) find it profitable to have a bias (think of it as a niche). Its universally applicable--when was the last time an independent canidate won? While a "person" can be an independent thinker, "people" will always gravitate towards a crowd.

So rather than arguing over which bias lies where, read both sides of the story. Watch Fox AND MSNBC, and form YOUR opinion, rather than paying for someone elses. True intelligence lies in the understanding of all sides.


My son's girlfriend convinced me I"ll never watch AI again. She made her first audition at 8am and was later asked to return 9pm for her next audition. The entire group was made to sing the same song over and over again until that time. When night finally arrived, she was hoarse from being out in the cold air and couldn't sing anything.

She left without auditioning again, but before she did, she noticed that there were many good singers not selected, while the judges (not the AI trio) sent through the weirdos that we see on TV.

It's setup that way and totally a rip off for the true singers. A bogus show in my opinion.


an independent candidate never won. People should just look at voting records and listen to the candidates and THEN form an opinion.


I have decided I don't like the the freak show that they do for the first month. Now that I know they do it on purpose, that part doesn't interest me in the least. I don't start watching till they get it down to the final 12.


Marxist shills? Thanks for making my day, retard.


American Idol contestants need to get a real job. American Idol is not going to transform their lives and make them happy. That needs to come from inside. Do they really want to spend a life being chased down by paparazzi? These people are hungry for attention and think money will make them happy


What was with that nutty Borat immigrant guy with the "sexy face" lol? AI auditions are always good for a laugh.




Is American Idol a program or a contest? For far to me it seems like a program. Check out the last couple of winners, they have either been dropped by their labels or are not selling records. It seems the programs defeats it's purpose

Virginia Beach:

I think the voting would be better if it were more like "So You Think You Can Dance." It would also make the judges more relevant. Basically the JUDGES vote out the worst person - from the bottom 3 as determined by nationwide voting.

I do agree, the trainwrecks make for good 'entertainment' but you have to think that doing so at the cost of turning away 'genuine talent' dumbs down the quality of the show. And repeatedly doing so year after year to the tunes of the 100's of thousands that show up every year turn more and more off that will eventually erode the image and viewership.

IMHO, make each segment shorter and use more 'highlights' of quality singers. Save the trainwrecks for the end like movie bloopers. Just my two cents.


It's just a silly game show mixed with a high school talent night. It has all the costumes of Let's Make a Deal and some of the real charming peeple last seen on Cops. I have yet to make it through an entire show, it's about as much fun a drunk uncle at Christmas.

Robert Leavitt:

The people who watch this show are suffering from arrested development syndrome. They feel abandoned by the Hannah Montana set so they tune in to this show for comfort. Grow up losers!


Just because someone criticizes Fox doesn't make them a liberal. If someone criticized say ABC, that doesn't make them a conservative. Why are some people so closed minded to think that there's only two types of people in this country? Guess what, most people are neither... It's called being normal -- try it sometime.

And actually Fox DOESN'T have the highest rated news, it has the highest rated CABLE news -- but that's a big difference because it's a much smaller audience. So basically that means it beats CNN and MSN, and not by much anymore. It doesn't even come close to the networks.

As far as fixing elections, Fox chief Roger Ailles is a member of Gulliani's campaign, so I'm sure it wouldn't crazy to suggest. Don't be so biased because of your political preference.

Hey, sorry if we're ranking on the company that brought you "When Animal's Attack XI"!


Everyone posting previously is right - some more than others. The bottom line is, it's the exact same format every time. Even though they tweek it and make minor changes, it's still just the same old show. People are simply getting tired of the same old thing. Happens to every show eventually.


Why all this talk of Fox news regarding the AI on Fox? Yah, the two are owned by the same entity, but there is no comingling of management. Fox Network and Fox News are only the same in name.

With that out of the way anyone who doesn't know that Fox News is slanted right is a moron. Anyone who doesn't know that CNN and MSNBC are slanted left is worse than a moron. The fact that Fox News being the only one of it's particular slant on cable is so handily kicking cable news butt should say something about liberal slanted media. Only the most cynical aren't sick of it.

Jack Kennedy:

The joey's are always the ones whining about divisiveness

Always blame the other side, while showing the ultimate in divisiveness.

Joey, as has been pointed out over and over, you and yours are HYPOCRITES.


Yeah, the human interest aspects of the show were terrible, and get worse every year. Well, maybe they don't get worse, I just get less interested. I might as well watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition if I want a sob story as justification for why someone should get a big win.

I don't care why people want to be the American Idol. In fact, most of those given reasons are crap anyway. They all want to be famous and on TV. Sure there will be financial benefits that they can use for whatever they want, but that's not what's driving them. That show attracts a certain personality type to participate. And to view.

My wife loves the show, while I'm about as apathetic as they come. I think some good talent has come out of it: Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Clay Aiken, maybe a couple others. But if they were really superstars, why do they need AI to get discovered?


I became disturbed with the amount of time spent at commercial. For the second half hour I timed commercial and show content.

47% of time at commercial
53% show content

That, my friends will not keep my interest, so I turned it off. How about you?




American Idol? Ha! Just proof that America is already sick of this show.. deftnitely ran it's course!


Joey, You have no clue. Look at the standing for news and you will see Fox kicks butt. You are the typical lib who hates not having control of all the news. At least Fox gives us the truth. Now back off.


AI wasn't as good as past seasons. Yes, the interesting blend of losers vs. talented tryouts was entertaining, but even I thought, "enough already!" It was quite sad to see the freak fest that showed up in Philadelphia, one of the real life contestant cities for crime capitol of the year.

I felt nauseous when I saw the Star Wars zeolots get their freaky five minutes of fame. Especially the overweight guy in the Princess Leia costume....WHYYYYYY?? And the mordidly obese, black, teenage girl and her even heftier mother....WHYYYYYY?? If this obviously unhealthy girl is a middle linebacker then I'm Heidi Klum. Was AI trying to keep their audience or just plain make them sick?

I agree with previous posters: more talent and less human interest. I don't care about the overnourished, unintelligent citizens of Philadelphia. After seeing how the city of "brotherly love" (and surrounding cesspool areas of NJ, DE, and PA) turned out, is it any wonder why Philadelphia is such a pathetic excuse for a city?

P.S....What happened to Simon? It's like they declawed him or made him a eunich. What happened to him?


I'm a Republican and I think Fox News isn't just "slanted" right, they are a full-blown-right-wing sensationalist joke of a news company... does anyone take them seriously? MSNBC is slanted left and CNN slightly more balanced (most notably Wolf Blitzer is one of the finest journalists on TV and seems very balanced and intelligent). This is probably why most people watch CNN, they actually try to be balanced.

Ignatz Horowitz:

Mindless drivel for the masses. Baaa.

M. Williams:

Okay, Let's think about this. The lowest ratings in four years...that last presidential election was how many years ago?

I personally am not an American Idol fan, because its highest ratings, after the final show, are during the first couple of weeks. People love to laugh at the freaks who audition.

Mom of 4:

Will you people please check your politics at the door? This is an AMERICAN IDOL message board - duh!

I hated last night. It stunk. I've watched this show from the beginning with my daughters. They weren't interested either. And I turned on "The Biggest Loser" too - I guess a lot of us are sick of the same schlock on AI.

A friend of my daughter's did make it to the top 24 a few years ago. She had some interesting stories to tell. She was really good but got the flu. Her last time to sing wasn't very good at all and she got the boot.

I don't like the human interest stories either. They mean nothing. I think it's nice to do it when it is narrowed down to the top 10. But at the beginning? No thank you!

I agree with earlier posts. The producers of AI need to take a long hard look at this audition formula and make some major changes. I will watch tonight and see what happens. Any more men dressed as women and I'm outta here!


I said, 'to heck with Idol' and watched Comanche Moon on CBS. I'm bored with Idol.



Hey, I'm a Republican too but I have to say: if CNN get any more "balanced" they'll fall into the Clinton's laps! Hate to break your little Fox News hating bubble.

How much of Fox News do you actually watch? They actually have great business/market analysis and their anchors are interesting even if they do verge on the cornball/cheesy at times. Given that, I'm not sure they're a "right-wing sensationalist joke". Where are you getting that from? Yes, they like Anna Nicole and OJ but so do the others.

Yeah, CNN (which is a snore) trying to be balanced is like Britney Spears with underwear... it's not realistic. I think Fox News tries to be more fair than you think or give it credit for. Why the beef....are they not spotlighting Ron Paul enough for you?


little advertising has been done to call attention to the premire of American Idol 7(?)

I would have watched if I knew it was coming on the air but I noticed nothing in the newspapers and as I mainly listen to the radio at night anything that would have been broadcast on fox to advertise it was missed by me.


very simple explanation. AI is the highest DVR'd show on TV. last Jan, DVRs were in around 10% of the households and this Jan they are in around 22%. when you account for the delayed viewing it will probably be pretty flat versus last year.


Idol's ratings for last night may have been low because of how bad last season was. I was very happy with the focus on the better singers last night and enjoyed the show a lot more than I have in the past. I usually skip the shows before Hollywood because of the previous attention paid to the horrible singers. I think ratings will pick up when people hear that they have retooled.


Even tho their ratings were down a little, they blew the competition out of the water!


A Country "Stoned" on stupidty and mediocrity..facing economic peril. may wake -up to reality..IDOL ??? Good Luck !! Another "STAR" ? That makes Lottery Money ?? KMA !!!! NOT NEEDED NOW...GET ANOTHER SHOW !!!..PS. THE MUTE BUTTON IS MY FAV' and WHEN CHANNEL CHOICE...BECOMES REALITY ..YOU ARE SO SO SO GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


People have given up on TV, that's why there's a downturn in the numbers. Too many of those 'reality' shows are on TV anymore, it's gone from fad to standard fare. Creativity in TV is for the most part, dead. Why watch garbage? I bought my flat screen and home theater for DVD watching, I spend more time with my Netflix rentals than any network program (except for football).


Hey! I'm just happy that the CW beat ABC during the 9PM EST hour! LOL Disney needed a ratings black eye badly! LOL ... and the CW needed a rare chance to rise above one of the old guard ;-)


Fox News is biased and attempting to rig the Presidential election, wake up fools!


PEOPLE ARE BOYCOTTING THE NETWORKS. I love IDOL but I won't be watching until the writer's srike ends. he newtorks ma be able to beat their chests and dump on the writers but it's not gonna work on viewers. I'll be watching C-SPAN, HGTV, and LINKS until the networks give the writers what they are entitled to. And to the NETWORKS - IT'S THE WRITERS STUPID! THAT MAKE US WANNA WATCH!


First and foremost, American Idol's (A.I.) Season Premiere was pretty much the same as every year. They showcase a random selection of applicants to the show, both good, bad, terrible and down right strange. A.I. clobbered all the competition handily so anyone saying the show is over is simply ridiculous. The show won't nessasrily be as dominate as prior years but it's really to early to tell. The can always shake things up to garner interest anytime they want. But anyone thinking A.I. is ready to go out to pasture when it pulled in a 13.8 rating over 33 million viewers is simply ignorant.

Now onto the Fox News Channel bashing. For all the haters out there, get over it. FNC is #1 and it's audience is actually growing. It still pulls in more viewers most nights than CNN, MSNBC and CNBC combined. Use your brain and think. Fair & Balanced refers to it's news coverage, not it's commentators or analysts like Bill O'Reilly. But even when you look at FNC's commentators, they always have Liberal's, Conservatives, Secular Progressives, Libertarians and other viewpoints that get aired.

Be happy to be living in the United States where you get a large diversity of choices from National Public Radio, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Blog's, Magazines, Newspapers and other outlets that have many viewpoints. Diversity of opinion is what makes this country stronger and is what makes you think. I want to hear all sides of an opinion that may affect me or my country so I can form my own opinion with as much information as possible.

Anyone who wants to silence opinions and people they don't agree with are the actual threat to democracy.

p.s., American Idol is simply an entertainment choice you have. Watch or don't watch, no reason to tear it down because you don't like the way it's produced or the rules they go by. Over 33 million viewers seemed to enjoy it, but most of us has hundreds of other choices if you want to watch something else. Every show runs it's course and goes off the air at some point, but American Idol has earned a place in history as one of the most watched, most anticipated shows in the history of television and no one can ever take that fact away.

Cheers and be well.


I think this time around, callers should be allowed only 10 calls per vote (like the "Make me A Supermodel" show on Bravo). Otherwise, we will go through another bad singer performing in the show (Sanjaya), and that's not the message we should be sending to the public.

That's why we see so much mediocre talent being pushed in today's generation.

Interested Observer:

Fox may well be trying to fix the election, but it's clearly not working -- have you seen Giuliani's numbers? The guy's tanking!

All the networks -- not just news networks -- do their best to manipulate viewers; why do you think they call it PROGRAMMING ? But after a while, the public catches on to the truth.

They can sell a presidential product like Bush, but after a while his incompetence and corruption glares so obviously that all the spin in the world can't keep selling him. They can sell a war, but the truth ultimately wins out.

And I'm not pointing the finger at Fox here; ALL the networks do it. They're all big corporations who do favors for the politicos in power so they get givebacks in new laws and reduced regulations.

But things are shifting, which is what brings us back to American Idol's numbers being down. The simple core fact is that people are watching less TV. The internet is where people are moving, and there's more freedom and self-directed entertainment available there.

Idol is still TV's juggernaut, but with the writer's strike dragging on and on, and so much TV absolute crap, it's shocking that Idol's premiere dropped as much as it did from last year. People are migrating elsewhere. The old days are on their last legs. But who knows what's coming next?


It can get better. It's still a great show, though they should've replaced Paula with Britney. That would've been great television. Check out the best writing about the opening episode from Justin Guarini at thebiz.fancast.com


joey (from the first comment),

you're an idiot. turn your tv to cnn, cbs, abc, or nbc and you'll see nothing but the typical spin for the democratic candidates. the only republican getting any positive reaction from those networks is Mike Huckabee, who most believe would get beat handily in a general election (hmm, i wonder why the mainstream media wants him to win the nomination???). get a life.


1. show was terribly boring last night. Way too much focus on losers, freaks and dorks.
2. Michigan Presidential Primary

They have to cut back on showing crap and show more talent. No wonder last year was a bust. We didn't get to see the talented people from the start.


Never watched a full episode. Don't care about people singing on a game show and I really don't care about people who can't sing on a game show.


If everyone is complaining about showing freaks, including Chris Daughtry, WHY DO THEY KEEP SHOWING SOOOO MUCH OF IT. That Star Wars and the overweight girl was just disgusting. I changed the channel.


Tim, take a look at the left-wing New York Post today: "REPUBLICAN RIVALS SHARE ONE BOND: ALL LOSERS"


a) American Idol is entertainment, any relation to reality is purely by accident.

b) "Ok...does anyone here even care AT ALL about the writers strike?!

No, they can stay out as long as the want.

c) What the hell does AI have to do with Fox News and the presidential election?


Did Paula have a black eye? It sure looked like it? Disgruntled auditioner?

Seriously...for me this is fun entertainment. Period. It's better than keeping up with BSpears or her ilk.


AI -- focus on singers, less on drama and stories, p-l-e-a-s-e ..... I actually liked the new & improved (nicer) Simon! =)

Fred Thompson 2008! (had to throw that in)


Joey, you need to take a break and put a cold cloth on your head. FOX is truly the only fair and balanced station on TV. Get a grip :))

marty klever:

First, it's so amusing that Joey wrote one little thing and pushed so many hot-heads' buttons. Way to go, Joey!!! I love imagining those sexless conservative geeks out there pounding away at their computers, spit flying, because they've got nothing more important in their lives than beer, potato chips, sports and expanding waistlines. Second, Way to go, Hillary! It's time we had woman (and a smart, experienced, passionate one at that) in the White House. Conservative men hate her because she's so much smarter than they are. Third, the only thing interesting at all about American Idol is the auditions. It's fun to see those irritatingly clueless "performers" get all ticked off; you gotta ask yourself why they subject themselves to the abuse in the first place. Fourth, it's getting old. I won't be watching any more. Unless - just maybe - we get some of these clueless conservative, lumpy, balding, old white geeks willing to go on and "entertain" us with their anti-"Marxist" ranting. I mean, how OLD is that?


To say that competing primary and debate coverage ate into Idol's audience is a laughable crock and a far cry from reality. The Idol audience is primarily 13 to 24-year-olds... hardly the demographic that's going to anchor themselves in front of a TV for hours to hear what a group of self-serving politicians say (stump speeches disguised as debate that they've repeated over and over for what... the past TWO YEARS...and will say over and over for the next 11 months.)

No, the simple fact is, Idol's uniqueness has simply worn thin, and it's nothing of which to be ashamed; the vast appetite of television assures it -- even a once-hot property such as Idol eventually sees diminished impact. What's more, credit the audience -- no-one continues to be amused by the manipulative stunt staged by offering "bad singers," i.e. contestants who are little more than plants from local radio stations, fraternities and teenagers-on-a-dare.

Oh yeah. Please note that Fox News ("We Distort, You Decide") only reigns supreme when compared to other CABLE outlets. When matched against the networks of ABC, NBC and even Katie at CBS, they trail badly.


FOX news is the worst. They don't even attempt a fair newscast.


The "ratings" statistics are from the US. What's incredible is that there's a tremendous following of the show internationally as well. Was speaking to an an American expat living in China and he said that his daughter and a group of her local friends surrounded the TV during the same day (delayed) broadcast.


Hillary clinton should be on idol shes a big goof off anyway she might win!Maybe bill will get laid!

Dian Williams:

I was flipping channels last night and I watched American Idol, just for a few minutes...and I thought some of it was really STUPID!!!....I am not sure if I would even watch it again!!!


Let's face it. Once SAN Ji Uh stayed as long as he/she/it did, America realized there is nothing to this show. If there was any validity to voting for the best, he/she/it would have never made it that far. AI marketing screwed themselves on that one.

Nate K:

Its not original anymore,It used to be funny to see people who honestly thought they were good get put down, thats entertainment.....and now lots of people who KNOW they have no talent go on there to make a fool of themselves on purpose, just to hopefully get their own recording deal or reality TV show.

Steve Johnson:

Going back to our misguided socialist lemming Joey.. Get off the Prozac, buy a plane ticket to France and take a good, clear headed look at what governement sponsered news realy looks like.. then see if you can wrest your car from the rest of the flaming hulks as the Islamist hoards burn your city to the freaking ground. Moron.


Steve Johnson - You are obviously a schill for the neocons. It seems as though the only way for you to communicate is via the personal attack, just like your puppetmasters Fox News. Who's the real lemming? I'm sure you'll have some real choice words for me too. So predictable.


This show should be called "American Idiot" because Simon Cowell is a arrogant, classless jerk who rolls his eyes in contempt when a contestant pays tribute with a "shout out" to the victims of the shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech.

As a Tech alum, I find his actions last April abhorrent to this day, and his subsequent apology transparent so that Fox could avoid a public relations fiasco with its behemoth vermin.

"American Idiot" is an evil empire, just like the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, and I live for the day that AI crashes and burns just like A-Rod and Romo.


I do not care at all for American Idol and look forward to shows of yesteryear, (but am afraid those days are long gone) not the darn crap they have now! Whatever happened to shows that meant something instead of all these reality shows! The networks are mainly concerned about their STUPID, PITIFUL RATINGS!! Don't the owners of the television networks even care? Probably not!!


Pumpkin68 ... I'm with you. There isn't much meaningful shows left these days. We've been proliferated with mindless shows for the Zombie Nation that we are quickly becoming.


...it's the UNBALANCED presidential debate boycott, stupid*. My TVs no longer receive FOX.

*no references to persons living or dead...merely a catch phrase.


Let's be honest here. AI is a reality show, not a talent contest. The producers care about entertaining the masses, not about getting the most talented contestants. The way they really pick the few contestants that get to be in front of the 3 stooges ensures that many very talented people never have a shot. Then the show is edited to tell a fictional tale of the event that isn't even close to what actually happened - including showing contestants supposedly singing in front of the stooges when they are actually singing only for the producers; splicing a stooge's comments about one contestant into the audition for a different contestant; telling individuals to be more out there because the judges will like it, filming the result and then making fun of those poor innocents; even going so far as to splice together film that happened in different cities. This distorted view of the 'contest' is then presented to a national audience gullible enough to believe the drama mixed with buffoonery is a truthful representation of the event.

Though you may hate their methods a lot of this is exposed at VFTW's website (and don't you dare think that the producers didn't love the controversy they generated last year - there is no such thing as bad publicity). Those of you who are open to broadening your view of this media icon might find the info interesting.



Wow Gloria, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of the Fox channels on your system. You really should complain since the Communist News Network is all you receive now......


usually am browsing my favourite blogs this hour but tuned in and checked it out and was hillarious to see so many peopel humiliate themselves...most seem to take it in stride and simon and paula and the other guy seem to be in good spirits
had quite a few laughs


I have lived outside the U.S. for 35 years and was shocked to see what Liberals have done to this country while i was gone.
I found myself in agreement and siding with the folks on the Right and I watch Fox news.
I understand when they talk about drinking the kool aid and the folks on the left don't even see how brainwashed they are.I was gone a long time and it is really sad to see what has happened.

I read a book that helps explain what happened while I was gone.... if anyone is interested...

Educating for the New World Order
by Bev Eakman
It was shocking and enlightening


Wow, lots of Factor Gear wearers in here.

This is news? I've never watched Idol, and never will. May it die a slow, painful death with the rest of the dreck that passes for entertainment these days. I say, BRING BACK THE GONG SHOW!!! Now, that was entertainment...


They shouldn't be surprised by the ratings dip. That show is nothing but a pathetic embarrassment trying to find the poorest excuses for entertainment that this country has to offer. There is precious little talent that comes out of that show, and the exploitation of the girls on it is even more disgusting. I hope the show falls out of existence. When you watch the British equivalent, that find REAL talent, you'll see that ours is nothing more than a mainstream, modern nightmare. I'm glad they're losing viewers.

Virginia beach:

OMG, I can't believe they allowed two (2) VERY OBVIOUS Gong-singers thru to hollywood. Simon was obviously just putting it on Randy and Paula to be the 'bad people' - and just to oppose Simon in their 'as the judges drama goes round' soap - they allowed horrible talent to go on to Hollywood as well. What an absolute joke.

PS: Thank goodness for DVR's where you can compactc the commercial riddled 2hr show down to only 1 hour of viewing. Unfortunately, you wished you could have about 30minutes of that back. So far, thru PHI and DAL no one looks worth watching in the top 10.

Virginia Beach:

So You Think You Can Dance... is such a better show. In format judging, entertainment value and actual talent. Can't wait for Idol's season to finally end - so SYTYCD will begin.


Artemis -right on...what ever happened to lounge jazz singer J.P. Morgan...one of the judges? Idol is too desperate this year...they should scrap their selection process from our view and just give us a product. Don't think it will be back next year. BORINGGGGGGGGGGGGGG


Just want to spread the word I came across this site where they will send an american idol hopeful to the auditions. All expenses paid. So if you know you have talent enough to get to Hollywood this site is for you. www.americanidol-auditions.com

Good Luck!!

John D:

I heard this song playing at the end of American Idol and I just HAD to find it and have it! The song is called "Best Days" by Graham Colton and it was playing during the American Idol montage which you can check it out here: http://music.aol.com/popeater/2008/02/14/graham-colton-song-played-during-american-idol-closing-montage/ And if you wanna just hear or buy the song, you can go here: http://www.amazon.com/BestDays/dp/B000XLUALU/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1203979850&sr=8-3

Although American Idol is a show made for total morons... The Fox News shows with Hannity and O'Reilly are about the best thing for America.
Finally a news show that is not tainted entirely to the left! Heck.. Even 'lefty Colmes' is more entertaining and slightly more thought provoking than American Idol is entertaining.

The only thing I'd listen to over Obama's total B.S. and his diarrhea of the mouth would be American Idol and I'd rather have a knife in my spine than waste my time with either of them.
Wonder what the lefties will think of when Osama Bin Laden is Obama's VP and Wright is acting as Sec of Defense and Farrakahn is the Chiefs of Staff.
Okay.. slap out of it!! WAKE UP>>> it's all a bad nightmare.
McCain for US president!


New update about Melinda Doolittle, She will released her first album in fall and also work on Holiday's cd. New website to suppor Melinda's career come join us at www.mdstreetteam.com


Good news for you Melinda Doolittle fans! She’s set to release her debut album titled, Coming Back to You on Hi-Fi Recordings in January 09. Produced by Grammy-nominated producer Mike Mangini (Joss Stone, Run DMC, The Jonas Brothers), Coming Back to You was recorded with a team of live musicians in Nashville and New York City.

The first single, “It’s Your Love” will be released to radio in October.

“Keep yourself updated with Melinda’s career at melindasbackups.

melindasbackups.com is a web site owned by Melinda Doolittle. Melinda’s Backups™ is a non-profit supportive association inspired by Melinda and authorized by her to operate this web site on behalf of her fans.


AI sucks. I don't like that new judge. This is because she is annoying and insecure. Not to mention she is a nobody with little talent. I hope they get rid of her.

Smart people don't watch Faux News.


AI sucks. I don't like that new judge. This is because she is annoying and insecure. Not to mention she is a nobody with little talent. I hope they get rid of her.

Smart people don't watch Faux News.

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