Something we’ve been watching very closely since American Idol premiered last week is the ratings. This is an especially pressing issue because it is taking on The Voice on Monday nights. Idol started out OK but it’s ratings have been lagging. People are starting to wonder if the problem is just that people aren’t into the show or whether the controversies over Katy Perry and Ryan Seacrest also have something to do with it.
Right before the premiere of the show allegations were made against Ryan Seacrest by his former stylist, Suzie Hardy, that he groped her and variously sexually harassed her. There were calls that Ryan be fired and they have greatly reduced his appearance on the show. Then you have Katy Perry. She was in a big legal battle with some nuns over a convent she wanted to buy to turn into one of her houses. Then the lead nun in the case dropped dead. Then Katy kisses young Benjamin Glaze on the show against his will and people start saying that she sexually harassed him.
So, you have to wonder if a lot of people are tuning out because of Ryan and Katy. In the wake of the #metoo movement, I’m sure a lot of people are not watching because of Ryan Seacrest. As for Katy, I doubt that the nun case was making many not watch but a lot of people were mad about the Benjamin Glaze thing if our comments section is any indication. In general, I imagine that people aren’t watching the show because 1) It’s a new show and people don’t like to change their viewing habits and 2) People don’t like the new squeaky clean Disney version of the show.
It’s hard to recapture lightning in a bottle. The original American Idol was launched at such a perfect moment that it plugged into the zeitgeist of the moment and became a phenomenon. That is what I think the biggest issue is. They are trying an old show in a much different world and a lot of people aren’t buying it. Though I’m sure Ryan and Katy’s behavior doesn’t help anything.