The Fox ratings juggernaut "American Idol," which has dominated U.S. television for years, is showing signs of audience fatigue, reports Scott Collins in the Los Angeles Times.
Now in its 11th season, the show has seen its ratings slide this month to their lowest level since the program first aired in 2002, the piece points out. Marking a first, "Idol" was surpassed by a show on another network, with CBS’s "The Big Bang Theory" drawing more viewers last week, according to the article.
"Fox executives in January had predicted a ratings drop for ‘Idol,’ but the falloff — more than 20% — has been far steeper than they anticipated," Collins writes.
"That could potentially put the network in the position of offering free advertising time as compensation for commercial time bought before the season started. The major advertisers on "Idol" are Coca-Cola, Ford and AT&T, companies that have far-reaching deals involving products featured on the show as well as traditional commercials," the story adds.
A spokeswoman for Fox said executives wouldn’t comment on the record, according to the article.