Idol, with Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan as judges, makes is grand return on Sunday, March 11.
ABC executives announced this week that the show will air two-hour episodes on Sundays and Mondays for the first seven weeks.
Beginning on April 29, American Idol will cut back to one two-hour Sunday night episode each week.
Not only has ABC decided to pit its revamped version of Idol against The Voice, but it’s giving The Voice a head start.
NBC’s Emmy-winning singing show returns Monday, Feb. 26, meaning it will be entering its third week by the time Idol airs its premiere
Here’s a prediction: Idol is going to get trampled in the ratings. Again.
I’ll even give you some reasons.
1. The original Idol: Kelly Clarkson, the original Idol, will make her debut as a coach on The Voice this spring. Remember how impressive she was during a guest judging stint on Idol in its final season? Here’s betting she’s the most endearing of all the new judges The Voice has brought in over the past several seasons.
2. A matter of chemistry: Speaking of the celebrity appeal, Idol will be hoping its judges can develop a winning chemistry that’s appealing to viewers. With Blake Shelton and Adam Levine in the fold, with Alicia Keys returning and with the addition of Kelly, that chemistry is a guarantee on The Voice.
3. Talent! Unless American Idol has stacked the deck better than the show ever did in the past, The Voice will have the better, deeper pool of talent. Look, when The Voice debuted, it certainly wasn’t those spinning red chairs that captured my attention. They seemed gimmicky. And it sure wasn’t the pretend boxing ring in which the battle round took place. That seemed hokey as hell. What grabbed my attention was the level of talent. The Voice overtook Idol in the ratings war its second season. For a fun exercise, got back and compare the Top 12 from each season of The Voice to each season of Idol from that point forward. Find me one season in which Idol had the better Top 12 talent. Here’s betting you can’t.
4. The age factor. With its Disney connection, here’s betting ABC’s version of Idol emphasizes young talent. Every time Idol has done that in the past, it’s rushed teens into the finals before they’re ready to handle the pressure, only to watch them wilt on the show’s big stage. Meanwhile, The Voice, with no upper age limit, has crowned six winners in 13 seasons who would have been too old to audition for Idol.
5. Finally, the big reason …: Was anyone really clamoring for Idol’s return? After an absence of just one year? Is anyone really excited at the prospect of the show’s return? I’m a fan of singing shows, and I think Idol’s coming back way too soon.