‘Idol’ Revamps Syndie ‘Rewind’

Aug 24, 2008  •  Post A Comment

News of format changes to the first-run weekly syndicated series “American Idol Rewind” is drawing positive buzz from stations set to carry the show this fall.
“When we were first presented with ‘American Idol Rewind,’ we considered it a diamond in the rough,” said Russ Myerson, executive VP and general manager of CW Plus, which manages a group of primarily digital subchannels, analog and non-broadcast cable television outlets for The CW Television Network in the smaller markets. “We always saw the opportunity to take the show to the next level and make it a richer experience for the viewer by looking like a brand-new show instead of a ‘best of’ show. These changes will make that happen.”
Season three of the series will combine looks at “American Idol” seasons three and four with in-depth interviews with some of the series’ stars, including Carrie Underwood. Previous seasons had focused on just one season of the prime-time hit.
“This year will be more highlight-driven as we focus on the journeys of some of the contestants from seasons three and four who became household names,” said Tracy Verna Soiseth, executive producer of “American Idol Rewind.” “With some of the names ranging from Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia to Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice coming out of these shows, there is a lot of fun stuff for us to explore where you get to see the best and worst of ‘Idol,’ including [cult favorite] William Hung.”
The new season will focus more on the memorable moments and unaired footage, from auditions to the finale. Season three takes the stage for the first half of “Rewind” and season four is the focus of the latter half. In addition, producers have planned a Carrie Underwood special for the final episode of the season.
The series will offer exclusive interviews with the two seasons’ most memorable performers, who reveal how the competition affected them behind the scenes.
New distributor Trifecta Entertainment, headed by CEO Hank Cohen, played a key role in meeting with stations to discuss tweaking the concept of the show.
“Adding all this new original content and taking a season and putting in a small compact number of episodes turns the program into something that has a much faster pace, with great highs and lows and more enveloping,” said Mr. Myerson. “As the show continues to broaden its demographics, we feel that this series will continue to be a thrilling part of our schedule.”


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