Hogan's Alley

Thursday, December 01, 2005

TV Watch: Has American Idol Become Bigger Than TV?

Clicking through the morning shows this morning I chanced upon Paula Abdul, one of the judges for the American Idol franchise, chatting with Matt Lauer on the Today Show. This struck me as odd. I'm not in the TV business, but I have been a consumer since the first black and white sets were moving into American living rooms. I thought that it was a cardinal rule of broadcast TV that a network will promote only its own shows, never the shows of a competitor. Today is and NBC program. American Idol is on the Fox Network.

American Idol's consistently high ratings, usually at the top of the pile each season, and the numerous spin-offs of similar "talent" shows indicate that this phenomenon may have somehow moved beyond TV as we know it.