Less “Idol Worship” in America?

FOX-TV’s premiere of AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 7 is the lowest rated since 2004.   The show received a 13.8 rating (Adults 18-49), down 13% from last year according to Nielsen data.  This despite extensive promotion by the network.  Promotional inventory for programs on hiatus due to the Writer’s Strike, such as 24, was diverted to AI.  This isn’t good news since the second show of the week each season is typically lower than the first.  Many bloggers have also commented on SIMON COWELL’s “kinder and gentler” attitude on night one, although I don’t believe that has anything to do with the ratings.

This news comes on top of top of recent announcements by J/RCA RECORDS  that former Idols KATHERINE McPHEE, RUBEN STUDDARD, and TAYLOR HICKS were dropped from their label deals.

So, how will this affect the decisions of radio programmers this year?   Many of us have spent the past few years scheduling KELLY CLARKSON, DAUGHTRY, CARRIE UNDERWOOD, ELLIOT YAMIN, and even CLAY AIKEN (and others) in high rotation.  Songs like “Bad Day” by DANIEL POWTER even got a second chance at life thanks to exposure on the show, as well as artists from MEAT LOAF to FUEL.

Personally, I’m no fan of the show or the “artists” it produces (although DAUGHTRY has come the closest to winning me over, but that’s another blog).

Let me say now that it’s far too soon to get the first nail ready for the AI coffin.  The show’s 13.8 rating still means 33.2 million people watched — that’s more exposure than many of our radio stations, combined.  Unfortunately, I’m sure we’ll still have new Idols to play in a few months along with past Idols that find a way to stay relevant like KELLY & DAUGHTRY.

And, the show will make us consider at least a few songs from other artists given mainstream exposure by the show.   I just heard a song by somebody named FARRIS or FERRIS on CAPITOL RECORDS that will be the “exit song” for a couple weeks in February.  It’s a boring ballad, but it’s probably a hit.

Meanwhile, check out my buddy GRAHAM COLTON (Website or MySpace) and his song “Best Days” that will be featured on the show February 5.


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