Monday, January 30, 2006

"American Idol" -- Why Does It Ignore The UK?

Bill Carter of the New York Times has a good story about just how explosively powerful "American Idol" is in the ratings. (Probably the only hit show to grow in the ratings later than "AI" was "Law & Order" which got MORE popular after reruns kicked in. Carter focuses on one key difference between "Idol" and other reality hits like the extremely popular "Survivor," "The Apprentice," the never-ending "Amazing Race" and others -- it only airs once a year. (Mind you, Fox fought tooth and nail to get two editions of "Idol" a year -- Simon Cowell had to threaten to quit the last time he reupped if they tried to do that.) But Carter leaves unexplored one interesting sideline: "Idol" began in the UK as "Pop Idol" and it's been duplicated all over the world. But they've only done two editions in the UK and now the show would be overshadowed by "The X Factor," Cowell's own reality contest. Why have they ignored their home country? Presumably because it spawned so many copycats and they were so consumed with the much bigger US market.

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