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Life after ‘American Idol’: Governor’s Award, Nick Fradiani, Ryan Seacrest

AMERICAN IDOL: Idol Carrie Underwood performs during the AMERICAN IDOL Finale airing Thursday, April 7 (8:00-10:06 PM ET Live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. © 2016 FOX Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

AMERICAN IDOL: Idol Carrie Underwood performs during the AMERICAN IDOL Finale airing Thursday, April 7 (8:00-10:06 PM ET Live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. © 2016 FOX Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Friday, August 19, 2016

“American Idol” over the past 15 years received almost no love from the Emmys and was not nominated this year for best reality competition show. (Host Ryan Seacrest has never won best host either but at least he is nominated.)

As a consolation of sorts, the TV Academy is giving the show the Governors Award, an over-arching recognition of the show’s game-changing nature.

American Idol wasn’t just a hit show. With its successful integration of social media, dominance of the pop-culture conversation and legions of imitators, it changed television in a profound way,” said Governors Award Selection Committee Chair Michael Levine. “You could meaningfully divide the history of television into ‘before American Idol’ and ‘after American Idol’.”

The press release provides some of the background you and I already know:

Simon Fuller created the wildly popular singing competition, which ran from June 11, 2002 to April 7, 2016 on FOX.

For an unmatched eight consecutive years, American Idol ranked No. 1 in U.S. television ratings and played to a worldwide audience of 460 million across 53 countries. Its innovations in audience participation through text-based and mobile voting led to nearly a billion votes cast throughout its run.

Produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, the groundbreaking series received 59 Emmy nominations and won eight Emmys. Additionally, American Idol’s talented discoveries have won 13 Grammys, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award, among numerous other accolades.

The show also had a profound impact on the music industry, launching the careers of superstars Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert andChris Daughtry, among many others. Idol contestants have sold more than 60 million albums, resulting in more than 80 Platinum records and 95 Gold records. Its participants have generated more than 450 Billboard No. 1 hits and sold more than 260 million digital downloads.

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Nick Fradiani hurricane album

Season 14 winner Nick Fradiani finally released his first album called “Hurricane” last week. But it barely made a peep, selling just 5,000 copies, the worst first-week number of any “Idol” winner to date. He didn’t even make it into the top 100, coming in at a mere 121.

Here’s how winners’ debut albums performed over the years their first week:

  • Kelly Clarkson – Thankful – No. 1 – 297,000 – 2003
  • Ruben Studdard – Soulful – No. 1 – 417,000 – 2003
  • Fantasia – Free Yourself – No. 8 – 240,000 – 2004
  • Carrie Underwood – Some Hearts – No. 2 – 315,000 – 2005
  • Taylor Hicks – Taylor Hicks – No. 2 – 298,000 – 2006
  • Jordin Sparks – Jordin Sparks – No. 10 – 119,000 – 2007
  • David Cook – David Cook – No. 3 – 280,000 – 2008
  • Kris Allen – Kris Allen – No. 11 – 80,000 – 2009
  • Lee DeWyze – Live It Up – No. 19 – 39,000 – 2010
  • Scotty McCreery – Clear As Day – No. 1 – 197,000 – 2011
  • Phillip Phillips – The World From the Side of the Moon – No. 4 – 169,000 – 2012
  • Candice Glover – Music Speaks – No. 14 – 19,000 – 2014
  • Caleb Johnson – Testify – No. 24 – 11,000 – 2014
  • Nick Fradiani – Hurricane – No. 121 – 5,000 – 2016

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SANTA MONICA, CA - JULY 26:  Host Ryan Seacrest attends the NBC Olympic Social Opening Ceremony at Jonathan Beach Club on July 26, 2016 in Santa Monica, California.  (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for NBC Olympic Social Opening Ceremony )

SANTA MONICA, CA – JULY 26: Host Ryan Seacrest attends the NBC Olympic Social Opening Ceremony at Jonathan Beach Club on July 26, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for NBC Olympic Social Opening Ceremony )

Ryan Seacrest has been a late-night presence during the Rio Olympics on NBC but he has been working even harder on social media, according to Variety magazine.

“I think we realized that in this world where people consume information and events immediately through social just as much as traditional platforms that the engagement couldn’t just be contained to late night,” said Seacrest in a phone interview from Rio on Monday to Variety.

His late night show has been garnering about 6 million viewers a night while he has made millions more impressions on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.


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