‘American Idol’ to change its tuneBy: JAMES HIBBERD
LOS ANGELES – Fox is readying to announce some ‘American Idol’ format changes.
The tweaks have been rumoured online thanks to a memo leaked to a fan site.
With the show’s premiere set for January 13, the network was set to reveal the plans yesterday. The changes include:
• Fewer audition episodes and more Hollywood-round episodes. The shift increases the show’s emphasis on talented performers and shies further away from the crash-and-burn spectacle of less-talented attention-seekers.
• To further emphasise the focus on the most talented singers, the semi-finalist rounds will feature the top 36 contestants instead of 24.
• Adding some unpredictability, the “wild card” round will return, which gives eliminated contestants a chance to come back into the competition for one of the top finalist spots.
Earlier this year, Fox announced the addition of a fourth judge (songwriter Kara DioGuardi) and the departure of executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.
The network doesn’t expect the changes to result in a ratings reversal for the six-year-old show – which has withstood broadcast’s overall ratings erosion better than most – but hopes the shake-up helps stem whatever audience drain might otherwise occur. – Nampa-Reuters