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BWW Asks: Would the Return of the Original Judges Bring AMERICAN IDOL Back to Life?

June 17
11:51 2014
BWW Asks: Would the Return of the Original Judges Bring AMERICAN IDOL Back to Life?

As BWW reported yesterday, according to The National Inquirer, original American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are currently being wooed by FOX to return to the judge's panel for the upcoming 14th season. The action is an attempt to boost ratings for the struggling singing competition, once a ratings juggernaut for the network.

Explained an industry insider close to the FOX competition, "In the past, the producers had always pooh-poohed the idea of asking them back. But after last season's ratings debacle, execs felt they had to do something drastic. So they're going with the tried-and-true threesome in hopes that the show can go out with a bang."

The three original judges appeared on the first eight seasons of the show, considered by many to be the height of "Idol's" popularity. The show first hit the airwaves in 2002, and was the highest-rated television show of all time for seven straight years.

Over the course of the last few seasons, ratings for the show have been in steady decline, while new singing competitions such as NBC's 'The Voice' have gained popularity. Despite this season's new and kinder judges panel, consisting of Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., ratings hit an all-time low.

Simon Cowell, who departed "Idol" in 2010 to take on the U.S. version of "The X Factor," saw his show canceled this year after just three seasons. Paula Abdul, who left the show in 2010, became a judge on "Live to Dance," another project which quickly fizzled. Jackson, who remained on Idol, was barely seen this season as he took on the new position of 'mentor'.

According to today's report, FOX made the original judges "offers they couldn't refuse" with Cowell being tempted with a whopping $15 million for the season, and Paula being offered twice her original salary.

So BWW asks, would the return of the show's original judges be enough to save Idol from cancellation? Tell us what you think!

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Caryn Robbins Caryn Robbins is a features editor for BroadwayWorld, and Managing Editor of BWW's TV, Film and Music spin-off sites. Her original musical comedy ADMISSIONS has been staged in two NYC theater festivals and was performed as an Equity Staged Reading in New York City in 2015. This June ADMISSIONS won 'Best Ensemble Show' in Chicago's Premier Premieres Festival.


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