Fox Cutting American Idol To 1 Day A Week, Likely Reducing Glee's Episode Count
After years of sagging ratings and lessened interest, FOX executives have decided to tinker with two of their longest running programs. One-time reality juggernaut American Idol will be cut from two nights a week to one, and Glee will likely get its episode count reduced from the 22 it was originally promised.
According to TV Line, American Idol will premiere with its two nights a week format when it returns in January, but once the audition rounds are over, it will cut back to one two hour block a week. That might sound impossible given the basic format with viewer voting and participation, but Dancing With The Stars has actually proven it to be a viable model. Basically, the way it works is viewers take in all of the performances and vote at the end of the night, as per usual. Every single competitor prepares for the following week, but one is eliminated at the beginning of the next episode, prior to anyone performing.
The format is way more streamlined, and it could be American Idol’s best chance of finding enough stability to stay on the network schedule for years to come. Many observers have been predicting its demise for the last two years, but FOX is still hopeful it can remain on the air for “many years to come”. In order for that to happen, the show probably won’t need an increase in ratings, but it won’t be able to lose anyone else. The judges may also need to take a big of a pay cut.
As American Idol’s popularity grew, the show became more and more of a focal point of FOX’s schedule. At one point during Season 3, FOX even aired the audition episodes 3 days a week. Despite the oversaturation, the show still put up numbers north of 20 million viewers per episode too, but sadly, those days are now gone. The reality competition now averages less than 10 million viewers per episode. Something had to change. Over the past few years, they’ve tried altering the judges. Maybe cutting back to one day a week will help. We’ll just have to wait and see.
As for Glee, the show has been dealing with its own sagging ratings and behind the scenes issues, to put it nicely. Early seasons regularly averaged more than ten million viewers per episode, but more recent episodes have been barely toping two million. That’s unacceptable for a network show and will likely lead to a reduced series order. FOX hasn’t officially announced the cut, but executives have publicly admitted they’re planning to alter the number. Exactly how many it might be dropped down to is unclear, but hopefully, whatever the final total is will allow the characters so many have fallen in love with to be sent off in style.
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