Monday, February 16, 2009

Kara good, mansion bad

Fox executive Mike Darnell on changes to American Idol and its ratings, from the Los Angeles Times

"Darnell argues that this season's "Idol" changes -- including adding fourth judge Kara DioGuardi, trimming the time for auditions, doubling the time devoted to the Hollywood rounds and even adding a "judges' mansion" in Wednesday's episode -- were necessary to avoid a feeling of stasis that could alienate core fans."

We love Kara and definitely wanted to see less of the bad auditions (yes, they were occasionally funny, but enough is enough.) But how the hell did the judges mansion add anything?? Are you kidding us?

"We were hearing that the audition shows, even though they were highly rated, were feeling a bit on the stretched side to keep them going for four weeks," he added. "The stories were a little too long. Maybe we were concentrating on having too many. If a person wasn't going forward, we'd still make a story on them. Maybe that should have been a 30-second story or 45-second story instead of a minute-and-a-half or two-minute story.

So this is why they've spent so much time on Michael -- to develop a story on someone they thought would stick around for a while!

Hollywood is where the core viewers really start to attach to people. As a result, the producers have had more time this season to develop back stories on the Top 36 contestants. "I've never felt better about people knowing who's going into these middle rounds. That's what drives the show -- an attachment to the kids drives attachment to the show."

Is it just us, or do you feel like most of the Top 36 are a mystery. All the TV time has focused on just a few of them (can we say unfair advantage when it comes time to vote). We'd rather know everyone or no one equally ... well, except for Michael who should have his TV time doubled.

"Through five weeks, Season 8 of "Idol" has slipped 8% compared with last season to 26.8 million total viewers and is down 14% in the advertiser-friendly demographic adults ages 18 to 49, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. In fact, among adults under age 50, this is the lowest-rated "Idol" (10.6 rating for the Tuesday episodes) since the first season back in summer 2002 (4.9 rating)."

But everyone is Southeast Texas is watching, and that's millions ...err, thousands... hmm.. hundreds of viewers.

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