TV tonight: Why ‘American Idol’ should ride off into the sunset

The judges of ‘American Idol’ may be the only thing entertaining on the show
Photo: Facebook/American Idol

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2013 ―Oh how the mighty have fallen. With “American Idol” hemorrhaging viewers each week, maybe the TV audience has finally had its fill of 20-somethings singing their way to fame.

“Idol” was the most watched show on TV up until 2011, but the decline has been swift since then. Last week just 11.48 million people watched the show; an all time low since the show started way back in 2002.

SEE RELATED: American Idol falls in ratings; Duck Dynasty ratings keep climbing

Critics are quick to put the blame on Nicki Minaj, but there are a lot of reasons why “American Idol” is in a free fall that can’t be attributed to her. That said, this year the show has become more about watching to see if Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj will pull out their claws and go at each other rather than focusing on the talent.

This may be a great concept for reality TV, but a talent show, not so much. Judges need to be above making it about themselves, but the diva factor has trumped that so far this season.

Carey and Minaj should be force fed clips from “The Voice” to see how judging should be done. The likable panel of judges on “The Voice” has a warmth and friendly rivalry that has served the show well in the ratings. “The Voice” is actually picking up viewers, a fact that contradicts the current trend for competitive reality shows in general.

Another reason “Idol” has dropped in the ratings is the two hour format that is more about filling air time than offering anything entertaining. One creative comment per contestant is hard enough for the self absorbed Minaj and Carey, but judging two performances a night is a stretch, even for the laid back Keith Urban.

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: “NCIS” and “NCIS: L.A.;” crime solving from coast to coast

But the real story is the decline of the competitive reality show format. Copycats have become standard fare for network TV, making the once original concept stale and increasingly irrelevant.

For people who watch TV for an escape rather than a slug fest of egos, this is good news indeed. And, since shows like “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory” routinely best any competitive reality show, the majority of the TV audience most likely couldn’t be happier.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: The Middle: (New) Frankie has a difficult time describing herself during a job interview; Sue dispenses unwanted advice to Axl and his band mates; Brick joins the Prairie Scouts.

CBS: Survivor: Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorities: (New) Chaos ensues when confused players remain undecided on whether to vote out an easy target or blindside a huge threat.

FOX: American Idol: (Live) The Top 6 finalists perform two songs each, including tunes they wish they had written.

NBC: Dateline NBC:  (New) A terrible crime occurs in a Florida suburb and the victim’s widow reveals the night of the murder to Dateline. 

CW: Arrow: (Repeat) Oliver asks detective McKenna on a date; a jewel thief named Dodger hits Starling City and targets someone close to Oliver; a pickpocket named Roy Harper steals Thea’s purse; Moira makes a move against Malcolm.

8:30 p.m.

ABC: Suburgatory: (New) Tessa helps Ryan choose a college; George asks Dallas to move in with him; Sheila sells George’s house.

9 p.m.

ABC: Modern Family: (New) Phil gets desperate when Cam and Claire’s flipped house is more difficult to sell than expected; Javier brings his new girlfriend along to visit Manny.

CBS: Criminal Minds: (New) When a time capsule in a small Colorado town is opened 25 years later and contains a gruesome discovery, the BAU investigates that crime and a possible link to the death of a local police officer

NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (Repeat) The detectives help the FBI by working with a prostitute from one of their old cases, hoping her link to a man on a killing rampage will prove useful.

CW: Supernatural: (Repeat) As the second season ends, the fight between Sam and Jake (Aldis Hodge) is over and Dean is left to handle the fallout, but being involved could cause him a great loss; and the hunters are menaced by the Demon and his spirits until aid arrives from a totally unexpected source.

PBS: Nova: (New) Part 1 of 4. A history of Earth through the lens of Australia, which is almost as old as the planet itself. Hosted by scientist Richard Smith, the odyssey begins in Western Australia, where clues as to when Earth was born and how life first arose exist.

9:30 p.m.

ABC: How To Live With Your Parents: (New) When Polly is confined to the couch after a back injury, Max and Elaine help out with Natalie; one of Natalie’s classmates asks Elaine about heaven and religion.       

10 p.m.

ABC: Nashville: (New) A personal crisis forces Rayna to head back to Nashville and miss a sold-show in New York; Deacon shares criticism with Juliette; Gunnar wants to celebrate Scarlett’s success; Avery becomes Juliette’s roadie.

CBS: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: (New) When the CSIs investigate a triple homicide, Russell has to find a way to connect with a 6-year-old girl who was the sole survivor and witness.

NBC: Hannibal: (Repeat) Gifted criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) teams with cunning psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) to solve a string of brutal murders in the series premiere of this crime drama based on the characters from Thomas Harris’ novels. Laurence Fishburne also stars.

PBS:The Truth About Exercise With Michael Mosley: (New) Science writer Michael Mosley investigates exercise, including whether short bursts of intense exercise are better for one’s health than longer periods of moderate exercise. Also: genetic testing reveals why different bodies respond differently to exercise.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

The Rachel Zoe Project at 9 p.m. on BRAVO

Hoarding: Buried Alive at 9 p.m. on TLC

Boston’s Finest at 9 p.m. on TNT

Haunted Collector at 9 p.m. on Syfy

Spies of Warsaw at 9 p.m. on BBC

Toy Hunter at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on Travel Channel

Duck Dynasty at 10 p.m. on A&E

Fast ‘N Loud at 10 p.m. on DSC

The Americans at 10 p.m. on FX

House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV

The Real World: Portland at 10 p.m. on MTV

Rise of the Continents at 10 p.m. on SCI

Deep South Paranormal at 10 p.m. on Syfy

Southland at 10 p.m. on TNT

Psych at 10 p.m. on USA

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

P.S. I Love You on AMC

Dark Shadows on CINEMAX

Click on ENC

A Room With a View on FLIX

Hostel on IFC

Just Like Us on SHO

A River Runs Through It on SUND

Sleuth on TCM

Saw on TMC

9 p.m.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on ION

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on HBO

Green Lantern on MOMAX

The Notebook on STARZ

Later tonight:

The Benchwarmers at 9:50 p.m. on ENC

The Long Kiss Goodnight at 10 p.m. on ENC

Hostel Part 2 at 10 p.m. on IFC

Your Highness at 10:30 p.m. on HBO

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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