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GLEE Is More Popular Than Idol

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It was apparent by the shift in the American Idol schedule that another ‘karaoke’ series has become FOX’s main focus. Normally on Wednesday mornings, you’ll hear me and Jen chatting up the best and worst of the previous night’s Idol. No longer. Idol was moved to a Wednesday/Thursday slot for a couple of reasons, the biggest of which is the popularity of GLEE!. Which probably owes everything it has to American Idol.

Much like the surprising rise of HOUSE to the top of the Monday night ratings, GLEE benefitted from being the lead-in to Idol in it’s first season. You may not recall, but for it’s entire first season, HOUSE started out on Tuesday nights prior to Idol.

With the loss of Simon, many believe that Idol is finished. Which is why FOX execs decided to make the move to Wednesday/Thursdays. They know GLEE! commands the top spot already on Tuesday nights, so they decided to leave well enough alone. In an interview with USA TODAY’s Gary Levin, FOX Big Dog Peter Rice says;

“When Glee came back as the No. 1 show, we wanted to leave it there. We’re going to build a comedy night on Tuesday. I can’t remember the last time we had a live-action comedy night.”

FOX feels that Wednesday/Thursday is much more ‘take-able’. CBS’s hump-day line-up has seen slippage, with AI alum Abdul’s ‘Live To Dance’ performing under expectations, and ‘Criminal Minds’ sluggish rating returns.  NBC is countering with it’s popular ‘Minute To Win It’ and sub-par ‘Chase’. The biggest hurdle Idol faces is the suddenly strong comedy block ABC has cultivated in the off-season- ‘The Middle’, ‘Modern Family’ and ‘CougarTown’ seem to have firmed up the Alphabet network’s Wednesday stance.

Of course Idol will see a slight jump in ratings for the first viewings, as interest in the new judges has curiosities piqued. But Rice says FOX is expecting about a 9% dip in the overall season ratings, which is the same amount they lost last season.

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