ABC Takes Aim at Idol


ABC’s Primetime Live is taking aim at American Idol just in time to divert attention from the Fox phenomenon's massive May sweeps finale.

The news magazine will get a special Wednesday night airing in the 10 p.m. hour May 4, with co-anchor John Quiñones delivering a report titled “Fallen Idol.”  
ABC says it will explore “explosive claims about behind-the-scenes activities” at Idol. Tabloid reports have circulated about a book proposal that allegedly outlines a relationship between a judge and contestant, including possible help with song choices.
An ABC News rep would not elaborate. Fox had no plans to address the rumors about the relationship on its Tuesday night Idol broadcast, said spokesman Scott Grogin. Fox had no comment on the ABC show..

The FCC has rules against aiding a contestant on a televised contest of skill. Specifically, according to section 508 of the Communications Act it is illegal for anyone "with intent to deceive the listening or viewing public," to:

"To supply to any contestant in a purportedly bona fide contest of intellectual knowledge or intellectual skill any special and secret assistance whereby the outcome of such contest will be in whole or in part prearranged or predetermined."

If the allegations of a relationship between judge and contestant is true, it might have to have occurred in the phase of the contest where the judge's still directly determine the outcome to be actionable.--John Eggerton contributed to this report.