Posted: 10:05 am Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

‘Idol’ bits: show will lose money? ‘The Voice’ returns, Ryan Seacrest 

By Rodney Ho

at the premiere of Fox's "American Idol Xlll" at UCLA's Royce Hall on January 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

at the premiere of Fox’s “American Idol Xlll” at UCLA’s Royce Hall on January 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

TMZ claims “Idol,” with its drooping ratings and high costs ($15 million each for Ryan Seacrest and Jennifer Lopez, for instance), may lose money this year for the first time.

Obviously, it’s not a cheap show to produce and they haven’t made any blatant budget-cutting moves. In fact, they clearly spent a lot just re-doing the set.

Although the handful of regulars left on this blog who still follow the show are generally upbeat about how the season is going, ratings overall are down about one quarter and dipped below 10 million last week against the Olympics. To add insult to injury, a repeat of “The Big Bang Theory” was more popular last Thursday.

This is a show that generated more than $1 billion in profits for Fox over the years, probably multiple billions. So it’s quite a fall to say the least.

But the story said Fox is committed to at least one more season.

***

Ryan Seacrest has created his first scripted drama, which will feature his buddy Jennifer Lopez. Details here.

***

Twitter’s most popular show last week was ‘The Walking Dead.‘ “American Idol” just snuck into the top 10 – barely.

***

“The Voice” is back, too, to kick some more dirt in the face of “Idol.”

Question: when will “The Voice” create a big star? They are well overdue…

I don’t have the time or energy to follow the show closely, but having the the judges sing each other’s songs is great. Blake Shelton singing ‘Whenever, Whereever,” Shakira crooning Blake’s “Boys Round Here,” Usher doing “Love Somebody” and Adam Levine crooning Usher’s ‘Without You.”

I also watched the first Christina Grimmie doing “Wrecking Ball.” Very impressive! She could win this.

And these guys are incredibly charming in a yacht rock sort of way:

This Bria Kelly may be going places,too, even if this is a bit overbaked to me:

44 comments
Peter W
Peter W

On the Voice/star issue, just keep watching Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery.  Going places fast.  Danielle is less than a year off the show and Cassadee just more than 1 year.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

New entry up with my annual  top 13 predictions. I think you know who I have already picked as the winner.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I have my dvr set to tape all the new episodes of Revolution so, even though I didn't know it was back tonight(thank you, Sam) it will tape anyway.

The DA commercials are only at the end.  They don't interrupt the show.

And yes, everyone will be singing tonight which means a 2 hour show.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Deirdre: Note, "Revolution" comes back tonight (just to complicate things!) Guess I'll tape it for the weekend. And glad I dvr'd (rather than using on demand) "DA", so I can fly thru the commercials.

And, D: waiting to get your take on "WD" - I personally thought it was one of the best in a long while - really liked it. And tension thick as butter.

Is everyone singing tonight on Idol?

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!


A note to Mercedes.  DA is more like an hour and 35 minutes.  The rest of the time, PBS tries to sell us DA stuff.

Haven't seen WD yet.

It looks like The Voice tied with Idol in the coveted 18-49 age group. I'm a little bit surprised by that.

McCovey44
McCovey44

There is a certain segment of the audience that finds Jennifer Lopez both beautiful and compassionate.  All in all I think that the judges this year have a good chemistry and are adding value to the show.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

Ratings for opening night of "The Voice" last night: 15.9 million viewers and a 4.7 18-49 rating. The season 13 debut of "American Idol" debuted last month at 15.2 million viewers and a 4.7 18-49 rating.

Rickster_
Rickster_

Have a good evening, everyone. Have a late meeting tonight - so won't be able to watch. But it wouldn't matter anyway since I've not watched since the Top 31 selection show.

G_
G_

I enjoyed The Voice last night, like I usually do.  Usher is getting a running start with some fairly solid performances. 

I'll admit The Voice falls short in making sure their winners have the best opportunity to push units.  I think the little country girl that won on Blake's team has been the most successful.  I think her single broke the top 20, but I'm not a country fan. 

I blame more of the failed marketing plan for the winners, moreso than the talent. 

ElemennoP
ElemennoP

AI continues to shoot itself in the foot.


$15 million for JstankHo?  Does she really attract viewers?  I view her comment as babble and am waiting to see if she peddles another soft porn video for some soon-to-be-released CD.  The show could have saved $5-10 million and gotten someone else.  You know, with talent and insight.  Not a self promoting ho.


And Ryan.  $15 million for a face to say "THIS is American Idol!"?  Really?  Does Ryan offer advise to the contestants?  Does he make great music?  Does he play any instruments?  $15 million to say "way to go" when someone walks out of their audition with a gold ticket.  Or maybe the strenuous "and now (insert contestant name) sings (insert song name) by (enter artist name.  Oh wait - I forgot the "okay (insert contestant name) go take your seat.  The show survived without Simon, Paula and now Randy.  In fact, it even changed producers.  $15 million for an emcee?  Geez........

MercedesS
MercedesS

As long as we "have" Idol, I'm enjoying the show!  Don't care for the Voice concept since the show is mainly about the judges and the talent  never seems original.  Each time Rodney posts a song bit, my suspicions are confirmed. The Grimmie girl looks and sounds just like the "Call Me Maybe" girl.


JTesla
JTesla

"Although the handful of regulars... are generally upbeat about how the season is going"

This "regular" is upbeat, but realistic. It has to end sometime. Right now I'm just curious if it will end the "Who wants to be a millionare" way with syndicaton and a new, probably cheaper host, or if it will end the X-Factor way - buh-bye.

MoSchreibman
MoSchreibman

The $15 million is for this Jennifer Lopez girl to do exactly what may I ask if you do not mind me asking so much? What kind of money will she ask for once her career whatever that is takes off if you pay these young people that kind of money now before they have accomplished something people will remember like singing or dancing or acting or two or maybe three of those even. You have to have something to build on like my wifes brother in law the contractor is so fond of saying everytime he gets the opportunity if you give it to him so do not is my advice.

DanJohn
DanJohn

Looks like The Voice has got their own Alex & Sierra with Dawn & Hawkes. My first thought last night anyway. Bria Kelly and Christina Grimmie were both very good. All in all it was a good show!

MercedesS
MercedesS

It's hard to convince the "bitten" people to come back.  Last season's unfortunate pairing of Minaj/Carey ruined   "Idol" for a lot of people. My d-i-l , who has followed the show from season one, gave up in the middle of the Ugly Non-Men season.  She hasn't come back, no matter how much I tell her about the promising talent this year.

Rickster_
Rickster_

@RodneyHo: Rodney.... WHO crooned Usher's song?? I think you've got the wrong Adam.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Haven't had a chance to see The Voice although, if there is any part of the show I like, it's the blind auditions.  After that, it gets gimmicky.  I also get kind of bored with the judges after awhile since the focus seems to be on them.  HATE the battle rounds with a passion!  

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@McCovey44  I have to agree with the beautiful part and the chemistry part.  JLo(like her or not)is gorgeous. And the judges this season are loaded with chemistry.  Anyone who thinks the JLo on Idol this season even remotely resembles the JLo sitting with S. Tyler and R Jackson would be wrong.  Keith and Harry have forced her to up her game in a pretty major way.

DanJohn
DanJohn

@G_ I agree about the failed marketing/promotion of the winners. I also thought last nights show was very good. I think both Usher and Shakira  kept up the chemistry among the mentors. The show seems to flow without effort.

DanJohn
DanJohn

@ElemennoP Businesses pay employees what they think they're worth and evidently Idol thinks J-Lo and Ryan are worth 15 million. It may also be why the show is losing money! While I think Ryan is a huge asset to the show I don't think he's worth 15 million. In context he makes 3 million more than Blake Sheldon & Adam Levine combined and they are mentors who put in time with contestants.


The salaries for THE VOICE mentors are:


Adam Levine= 6 million

Blake Shelton=6 million

CeeLo Green=6 million

Usher-7 million

XTina=10 million

Shakira=12 million

Carson Daly=40 K per episode


Honestly I'd take any of the mentors on The Voice over J-Lo and it must be mentioned that The mentors on The Voice put in time with the contestants and on Idol they merely critique.  

JTesla
JTesla

@ElemennoP I don't know anybody named "JstankHo".

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@ElemennoP Agree with Deirdre - Ryan is an excellent host, who keep order in the midst of chaos and keeps the show running along. Will agree JLo is NOT worth the money, and they could have found many better ladies to do the job.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@ElemennoP  He runs the frickin show!  If you watched the first and second seasons of X-Factor, you would know that a being good, professional, thoughtful, engaged host is not an easy job.  Handling any number of snafus during a live show takes someone who can think on their feet. Dealing with angry or crying contestants takes empathy and stopping long-winded judges takes a sense of humor and a great deal of tact.  There are very few terrific emcees out there who can do the job that Ryan does.  He's worth it, imo.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@JTesla  I'm inclined to believe that it will end with a huge bang along the lines of announcing a season as the "last" with all sorts of special guests and bringing back every Idol(winner and runners-up alike) who has ever made something of their craft post-Idol.  Those numbers are pretty big, so every time someone asks why this show is still on, I say Because it is still producing talent!

MoSchreibman
MoSchreibman

As my grandmother used to say when we left each summer after our two week stay it is over when it is over and believe me it is over now wait on the porch for your parents who should be here soon God willing.

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@DeirdreC  I'm with you. I love the blind auditions, but I'm pretty much done after that. The battle rounds really are more a way for the judges to whittle down their similar contestants. IMO, it's about the judges strategic plan than it's about actual talent, which really turns me off to the show. 

I like the idea of mentors and teams, but The Voice is more a contest between the judges than about the contestants. It's clear when they tout "Oh, well, Adam has won the show 5 times...." And WHO were those people? Hello? It's really why I haven't been able to warm up to the concept. 

MercedesS
MercedesS

@DeirdreC How do they pick the talent on "Voice"? That's always been unclear to me.

Peter W
Peter W

@DanJohn @G_Danielle Bradbery (the little country girl) is off to a great start in her career, particularly for a 17 year old--only 16 when she won.  This girl will be a star.  Cassadee Pope, the season 3 winner, is off to a a fine start as well with a top 10 single that went gold.  Both are country and were on Blake's team.  Blake boasts more than the rest combined about his wins (really tongue in cheek) but he did an absolutely superb coaching/mentoring job with Danielle and Cassie,and particularly with Danielle--a prodigy without any real experience.  I enjoyed Danielle's season start to finish (battles and knockouts and all) better than any other singing show I have seen.  (Geez, go listen to her performances from the show on YouTube--one of her versions of Maybe it was Memphis has 1.2 million views and the other more than a half million--and you'll find that every single blessed one of them is a gem.)  These women will be major country stars in years to come, and they are both only about a year away from the Voice.  In fact, Blake's work this these two changed the Voice.  Adam Levine changed his coaching style last season (by his own admission) to emulate Blake, getting more personally involved and trying harder to tailor song choices to suit the singer.

Watching Cassie and Danielle, both of whom are with the Big Machine label, helps understand the problems of success after the show.  Big Machine is a very successful label with lots of big Nashville names--like Taylor Swift and Tim  McGraw.  One can get the sense that, as good as these two are, Big Machine is not about to award either of them Taylor Swift's mantle or push them all the way to the front of the line, with all the great artists they have.  Danielle and Cassie have had lots of breaks (touring already with folks like Brad Paisey, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Hunter Hayes) and have been logging the hours and miles.  But what is happening in the music world post-show is not something the Voice can control.  The labels and the market matter a lot more.  For its part, the Voice has had both Cassie and Danielle back more than once and it co-sponsored one of Danielle's songs as the theme for NBCs Olympic promos.  True, the first two Voice winners have pretty much vanished (keeping time one suspects with Lee DeWyze and Kris Allen). Just watch these two young ladies in the years to come, however as they keep company with Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@DanJohn @ElemennoP  Dan, I'll just repeat what you said: Businesses pay employees what they think they are worth.  Apparently The Voice doesn't have that high an opinion of Carson Daly.

DanJohn
DanJohn

@DeirdreC @JTesla I think you're right Deirdre. The last season will be known in advance and it will go out with a Big Bang. I do think another singing competition show will take it's place since it appears that talent shows attract viewers. Star Search ran its course which was about 12 years I think. Idol probably ends next year but you never know. The Voice will burn itself out probably sooner than later and especially if Adam and Blake leave. But something will follow, it always does!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@KellyandCarrieFan @DeirdreC  I think that's the main problem for me too.  while the audience is trying to pick a winner from the singers, the show is actually naming the mentors as the winners.  Heck, why doesn't the audience just vote for the mentor and be done with it?

DanJohn
DanJohn

@MercedesS @DeirdreC To become a contestant you go through NBC and set up an artist account then you chose an audition city and attend an open call. You get an artist pass and if you're deemed good enough you get a call. I would imagine they also have producers who scour youtube for artists.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@DanJohn @DeirdreC @ElemennoP  Of course you make cuts.  And while a show or a business is smart enough to know that, unfortunately, the gov't apparently still has a lot to learn.  ;-)

DanJohn
DanJohn

@DeirdreC @DanJohn@ElemennoP Deirdre there's no doubt Ryan is the best in the business. In fact if the show went to him and said we need to cut salaries it wouldn't surprise me if he took one. I do think he has a lot of integrity and feels indebted to Idol.  My point is simply if a show, business or government in fact is losing money you make cuts. You can spend you're way into the black. Which is kind of what Idol is doing with J-Lo, Randy, Adam and Chris. How much was Jimmy Iovine making? They have 3 people taking his place?

DanJohn
DanJohn

@DeirdreC @MercedesS I think the only restrictions pertain to having an active contract. They may have a rule on years between contracts although that's purely a guess. The UK version has had a couple of singers who were 1 hit wonders who tried out and failed.