This is akin the fall of the New York Yankees in their heyday, or the Boston Celtics, or the Green Bay Packers. If it were the sports world then it would be the lead story on ESPN 24/7 and analyzed and picked apart ad nauseum by every sporting publication across the land.

American Idol is on the verge of  losing its pennant for highest-rated entertainment program on TV. It’s a lofty perch it has held since 2004.

So, what’s the problem? Nine winning seasons is a long run in any endeaver.

If Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe knew he certainly would be fixing it pronto. But for now, at least, he is pointing the finger at the judges. “I don’t think we have good chemistry with the judges,” he told Zap2It this week. That (the judging panel) got off to a bad start and that didn’t help anything.” He is certainly correct in that assumption.

I latched on to this show a few years back in the David Cook vs. David Archuleta season. It was fun, fast-paced, interesting, emotional, entertaining and I don’t even recall nor care who the judges were. Therein lies the problem – the focus of the show.

The Idol execs just seem to be overly concerned with the judges and not the talent. Take a glance, I know it’s blasphemy, if you will at The Voice. The talent level is off-the-chart compared to Idol this season. So, why? Are kids just not trying to make it on Idol? Are the prelim judges not doing their due diligence in selecting contestants? Are the age limitations too constricting?

Whatever the problem the show needs to wake up soon or it just might be put to sleep.