Is there anyone still watching American Idol? Has it run its course and is time to throw in the towel?
After 13 seasons, Idol has hit an all time low number of viewers in 2014’s ratings, with only 6.6 million on the Tuesday night show-down between Rocker Caleb Johnson and powerhouse singer, Jena Irene and 10.1 million viewers tuning in on Wednesday night to see who would win the Idol crown for the season. That’s the lowest number of viewers ever. Back in 2006, there was a regular viewership of over 30 million.
Fox has tried every trick in the book to boost the ratings on the ailing show. It’s gone from having the judge you love to hate in Simon Cowell to an almost all girl panel (save for Randy Jackson, the sole hold-out who hasn’t gotten the boot or left the table until he wanted to leave) to the “Dueling Divas (Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey). Nothing worked to bring back up the show’s ratings with the exception of having Steven Tyler’s (Aerosmith’s front man and lead singer), never know what he’s going to come out with or wear, type of appeal. Or, perhaps it was mainly women tuning in, still trying to figure out how the aging rocker, who really isn’t all that handsome, can still have sex appeal? Has anyone really figured that out yet?
Many viewers tuned out of Idol and into competition singing show, “The Voice” and have stayed there. Two singing shows in one week, taking up 4 nights out of a week, may have been just too much for viewers to handle, especially given that it’s the 18 to 49 year age group that sponsors are aiming their bows and arrows at to hook in.
Still, Idol is going on with the show in 2015 for its 14th season, hanging onto 2014’s judges panel of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. (who does bring a mix of both Cowellesque critique style and a tad of inpromptu Ellen DeGeneres (a former one season Idol judge squirming in her seat with discomfort and poorly written jokes, style humor to the show). Ryan Seacrest will remain as host. What would Idol be without Seacrest?
2014 was fairly predictable, given America’s voting being sometimes flakiness. It was fairly apparent that Caleb was likely the front-runner and many who tuned in to the first weeks of Idol, tuned out at least mid-season, if not sooner, once they’d gotten a taste of how the season was going to go. Curiosity soothed as to both the judging panel and the contestants’ talents, most tuned out shortly afterwards.
It may be that audiences have heard it all and are tired of singing competitions while becoming more intrigued with dancing. Dancing With The Stars took the lead in ratings with some 15.6 million viewers on average. It may also be that more people are turning off television sets and downloading or streaming non-cable/mainstream watching.
Whatever it is that’s happening, less people seem to be watching television shows as a lot of shows have dropped in their ratings or are never given half a chance.
Then again, we are going by the sponsor’s ratings who only count the 18 to 49 year old age group they target, as “viewers”.
With an aging population growing in numbers, it might be that sponsors need to turn their focus away from their usual aim and up the age factor to appeal to the larger crowds of viewers. Many who park their rears on a couch to watch the old television, old style, are the over 49ers. The younger groups are using technology to watch more unusual shows.
Have sponsors and networks got it all wrong?
It’s time to re-evaluate that point…at least, that’s how I’m seeing it from my little corner of life.