With American Idol's
leading judge having departed the show this season, many estimated that ratings
for the aging show would fall 15 to 20 percent. However, ratings have actually
begun to increase, reported
The New York Times.
The ratings for the 10-year-old show has had a steady
decrease for the last several years; this is the first time since 2007 that Idol has shown improvement. Although slight
(only up 1% since last season, the show is averaging 25 million viewers), the
ratings as well as the gap between the second-biggest show, Modern Family, give promise to the
producers that the show will continue to air for years to come.
The former naysayers cited Simon Cowell's departure to
import another British singing competition, The
X Factor, as a sign that Idol
would surely fall. However, the addition of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler to
the judging panel has spun the show in a more optimistic direction that viewers
seem to enjoy. Adding on to the batch of new contestants each season, the ability
to "reinvent" the program is an advantage of reality television. Few scripted
shows see past ten seasons; reality shows manage to last even past a 20th
(such as Survivor, on its 21st).
The revamped Idol
will be tested against newcomer The X
Factor in September. Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment
at Fox, thinks that "people clearly want to love this show, so if you give them
something to love, they'll come back."