Nigel Lythgoe is the executive producer of American Idol which means he is a big shot of sorts in the entertainment business.
Afterall, anyone who is calling a lot of the shots for a show watched by millions on a weekly basis, a show that can make or break careers in a heartbeat … is a big shot.
So, on Tuesday morning, late Tuesday morning, Mr. Big Shot fielded questions on a conference call for reporters from around the country.
Idol ratings have dipped as it approaches its Hollywood Week segment on Wednesday night. Dipped but not disappeared by any stretch of the imagination.
Idol is still the top-ranked show on television which means lotsa folks are still watching, the commercials cost a lot of money and someone is making a lot of dough.
Nonetheless, the popularity is shrinking and Lythgoe knows it. His answers to questions addressing the dip were almost defensive. You know, rebuttals like “…we thought we would be around three weeks and here we are 11 years later.”
Or …”We have survived for 11 years. Why on earth would we start looking for other things to put in there? American Idol is now in the history books. We’ll see if the other shows last for 11 years.”
Or …”we knew there would be a certain amount of viewer fatigue.”
Sounds like Mr. Lythgoe is getting a little edgy to me.
This is the show’s 11th season, No. 5 for me. And while it has been altered, turned around, changed judging panels (with the exception of Randy Jackson), the front part of eash season — the auditions — has remained pretty much the same. And that means some good singers, some real bad (i.e. total jokes), some tear-jerkers and a finale who is usually equipped with an incredible back-story and a smooth singing voice and they fade away carrying a gold ticket to Hollywood..
Hollywood segments are a different story and that’s when Idol starts to take shape. That’s when Idol spreads its wings and becomes the show it was always meant to be.
So, chill Mr. Lythgoe. Take a deep breathe, count your money and don’t be so defensive. It’s all good.