Can Reality Singing Competitions Go Away Now?

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
A new American Idol was crowned and I have no idea who they and I think that means the time is done for reality singing competitions. When American Idol launched in 2002, even though we had the internet and more cable channels, there was still a monoculture. Everyone watched most of the same television shows, but even if you didn't, chances are you knew what was going on on shows you didn't watch. Especially a show as big as American Idol

The 2000s was probably the last period of the monoculture. Someone can't be an American Idol with only 5 million people of the American public watching the show.  They also can't be The Voice with those kinds of viewing numbers. And you can tell because in the decade-plus run of the show, none of the winners or contestants have become, not even superstars, just regular pop star level stardom.

I know singing competitions make their networks a lot of money, otherwise they wouldn't be on. I would much rather have all those hours of air time freed up for more television shows to make it on air and find an audience and not shunted until 10pm after these competitions air. When people complain about networks having boring dramas, I think singing shows are the problem. Because of course they're gonna have procedurals, but they no longer have the airtime or prime timeslots to give to some of their more ambitious shows, and those shows get canceled after a season or two without opportunity to truly build an audience.

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