American Idol: Has it Jumped the Shark?

Ellen Degeneres will be replacing Paula Abdul on American Idol in Season Nine and it remains to be seen how her appearance on the show will affect the ratings of American Idol in 2010 with her on the judging panel.

There is a saying in television that when a show has reached it’s peak and starts their descent that it has jumped the shark. That may now be the case for American Idol after Paula Abdul quit the show after not receiving the raise she thought she deserved.

Abdul to me balanced the acerbic judging of Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson who seemed to not be as kind with their remarks as Abdul. Jackson may not have been as critical as Cowell but he was not nearly as kind as Abdul.

The adding of a fourth judge caused logistical problems for Fox last season as it added time to the show and the show once ran past their 10PM deadline to leave the air.

It seems to me that with Abdul leaving the show they would revert back to the three judge format but instead they added Ellen Degeneres to the panel. I think it was a mistake to add a judge who has little or no musical knowledge.

The latest rumor circulating now is that Simon Cowell will be leaving the show after the Season Nine finale in May. If he leaves I think it will affect the ratings even more than the loss of Abdul might.

There is a feeling many tune in the show just to hear what sarcastic remarks Cowell will have about the singers on that night’s show.

With the first show of the 2010 season airing on Tuesday, January 12 it will be interesting to see if the show jumps the shark by the end of the season or holds steady and retains most of their viewers.

Ryan Seacrest who signed a $45 million contract for three years will do all he can to hype the show and continue to needle Cowell during the shows. His huge contract was reportedly the main reason Abdul left the show.

Paula Abdul may find other work but it is not likely to be anywhere nearly as lucrative as her American Idol stint and she may already be regretting her decision.  She may be making far less money than she would have made with American Idol.

We will soon have a better idea of how the show will do after they get past the audition weeks. It will be interesting to see how Ellen Degeneres will act if she gets needled by Mr. Cowell more than she wants to be needled.

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Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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