Idol Worship

May 12, 2003  •  Post A Comment

If the best form of flattery is imitation, then the folks at American Idol must be swimming in adulation. The show’s format has begun to proliferate in televisionland. Examples: ESPN is developing Dream Job, in which aspiring sportscasters compete for a gig on the network’s Sportscenter. Meanwhile, Extra has launched a contest for a reporter on the syndicated series. In Philadelphia, NBC affiliate WCAU-TV expects more than 10,000 people to vie for the chance to be the station’s traffic reporter for the summer.
This kind of idol worship is old hat to Michael Gelman, executive producer of Live With Regis and Kelly. He has been doing similar promotions since 1993, including the search for a Kathie Lee Gifford replacement and a search for substitute co-hosts while Kelly Ripa was on maternity leave. “On the one hand I think it’s great to bring the audience in and let them be a part of the show,” Mr. Gelman said. “But my fear is that many people think that it’s easy to do what Regis and Kelly do on air.”
We’d bet it’s easier than singing in front of Simon.