The Idol Juggernaut

19 01 2007

American Idol started this week with record ratings. The number one program in the US opened with 37.3 million viewers, and there is no sign of a slowdown. Wednesday’s 2 hour special dropped just 300,000 viewers, clocking in at 36.9 million. Those two nights were the largest in FOX’s 20 year history as a network. It’s almost as if FOX just need to show up January to May to win the ratings battle in adults 18-49.

As an editor, I am always amazed at the speed with which ITV manage to get the master tape into the UK, edit out all the product placement, stitch together all the breaks and air it less than 48 hurs after the US.

In another masterstroke from Simon Fuller, this year UK viewers will be getting a slightly different package, with Cat Deeley presenting special segments at the top and tail every episode, as well as being the first to interview contestants after their dreams are shattered/ascent into manufactured pop history is confirmed (delete as applicable). US viewers will be familiar with Cat from FOX’s dancing version of this show, So You Think You Can Dance. Boy is she rich now!

American Idol begins on ITV2 tonight at 8.30pm. But if you like it, you already knew that. And if you don’t like it you already have plans, right? Washing your hair? Yeah, I’ve used that one…