It’s no secret that American Idol isn’t the ratings juggernaut it once was, which is why next season, FOX is reportedly cutting back the number of hours it devotes to the show.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, FOX Broadcasting chairman Kevin Reilly announced that next season, American Idol will only air for 37 hours total, compared to the 50-plus hours it has aired in the past. The plan, Reilly said, is to have the show airs two nights per week during the audition phase, and then air just one night per week, two hours per night, for the rest of the season. That means that performances and eliminations will likely take place during the same night. This isn’t a new concept: ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, which recently cut back to one night per week as well, does both on the same night.
Despite lower ratings, Reilly didn’t say that American Idol will be ending any time soon. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he said, “the show will be on the air for many years to come,” and he’s now focused on making it a “potent” and “good show” in its time period, instead of a monster that crushes all competition, which it used to be. He compared American Idol to CBS’ long-running reality show Survivor, which has aired for more than 20 seasons, and still delivers solid ratings.
As for the show’s judges, sources tell the Hollywood Reporter that the current lineup of Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez is likely to return for American Idol season 14.
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