Can American Idol Still Top the Pops for Three?

Three will replace Married at First Sight Australia with the resurrected American Idol.

The talent quest phenomenon resurfaced this week in the US after a two-year break, with the season 16 premiere drawing more than 10 million viewers. Ryan Seacrest is still the host but the judging panel has been refreshed with Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

It will launch here on April 3 and screen 7.30 Tuesdays and Wednesdays in two-hour instalments.

Variety reports ABC’s revival of American Idol was easily the top show of Sunday night according to Nielsen overnight data, even if it did not top Fox’s version of the show.

And according to Deadline, Monday’s episode shed viewers when it lost in a face-off against NBC rival The Voice.

It was only the second time The Voice has outperformed Idol when airing opposite each other — in the first seven times the two faced each other while Idol was on Fox, only once, in May 2014, did The Voice manage to edge its older counterpart by a small margin.

Idol has been around the block in this market. It used to a top-rating show for TVNZ 2 before Prime picked it up for a couple of low-rating seasons.

Three targets the same 25-54 demographic as Prime but has a younger edge and over the last couple of years has turned around its ratings with signature 7.30 reality strips.

American Idol’s relaunch in the U.S. this week has beaten expectations, and we’re confident that New Zealanders will once again find the ‘Idol journey’ as compelling now as they have in the past,” Andrew Szusterman, Chief Content Officer at MediaWorks, said in a statement.

“What you’ll see, with its emphasis on uplifting performers, gifted performers or earnestly untalented performers isn’t a Disneyfied version of Idol,” says The Hollywood Reporter.

“It’s the tone the show was going for in each of its last two or three seasons, becoming warmer and fuzzier and less scathing and mocking with each passing year.

“So if you’re returning to Idol after an absence, expect a bit more positivity, but if you stuck with the show through its lean years, you’ll mostly see the show you thought you’d left behind for a few years more.”

Concurred USA Today: “The new version is really just the old version, but a little sappier, a little more Disney-fied, a little more Americana-obsessed, and it’s all, well, fine.

“It’s not particularly good or particularly bad. It’s just familiar. And familiar may be enough, depending on what you’re looking for. But it’s not special.”

As for the judging talent, Entertainment Weekly rated Perry the best: “Perry has the most interesting comments, but she’s also got the biggest brand to manage. Watch this space, though: Her time on Idol could be something special.”

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5 Responses to “Can American Idol Still Top the Pops for Three?”

  1. It’s weird that Three said goodbye to The X Factor and are happy to say hello to American Idol, I wonder if NZ Idol will return? 🙂

  2. Probably needed to be fast tracked if it was going to do the business ratings wise here. On an entirely unrelated note, Phil do you know if anyone has picked up the Roseanne revival starting in a fortnight?

  3. I’ve asked Three if the gap will narrow due to pre-emptions in the US but have yet to hear back. If the gap remains three weeks through to the final, then it would be a wasted opportunity, particularly given Three already screens Survivor within a few days of the US. Re Roseanne: it will screen here on one of the networks the same week as the US. Because of a media embargo, I’m unable to disclose more at this stage but can reveal more tomorrow.

  4. Thanks Phil, I’ll check back tomorrow!

  5. If it’s not fast tracked, don’t bother screening it.

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