Ryan Seacrest's New NBC Music Series: What Does It Mean for 'American Idol'?

by Hilary Rothing, posted May 3rd 2011 2:30PM
With NBC's 'The Voice' proving a hit and Simon Cowell's monstrous U.K. series, 'The X Factor' just a few months away from landing stateside, can you blame Ryan Seacrest for hopping on the music reality competition bandwagon? He is, after all, only the host of the most successful show of its kind in the U.S., 'American Idol.'

Th New York Post broke the news, yesterday, that Seacrest's production company is partnering with NBC on a new music talent show. Sounds exciting, but what about that old music talent show, he's still hosting, 'American Idol'?

The Fox ratings workhorse may not occupy the same space in the pop culture zeitgeist it once did, in this post-'Glee' world, but that doesn't make it any less of a hit, ten years after its premiere. The news of Seacrest's big plans certainly begs some big questions, however. Though details on the deal are sparse, here's what we do know and how it might affect the show that made him a star, 'American Idol.'

Will the new 'Ryan Seacrest Project' be more of the same?
At this infantile stage in the development process, the word is "no." According to The Hollywood Reporter, Seacrest's new series "is not a traditional competition show." Add to that, NBC's Head of Alternative Programming, Paul Telegdy's comments: "It is self-contained episodes. It is a bit more fun. It's not contestant competitive. It's artist competitive."

Back in March, Seacrest prefaced yesterday's news, telling THR, "It doesn't make a lot of sense to host a show competing with 'Idol.' ... I think it's possible [to be the face of another show in the future], but at this point I certainly have not even gone down that road because 'Idol' is in a great place, so I think we're just enjoying that and we want to focus on that."

Will Seacrest's new show cannibalize the 'Idol' fanbase?
'Glee' and 'Dancing with the Stars,' among others, have reinvigorated interest in the competitive music genre. But we're now faced with what could be a glut of shows of this type. 'The X Factor' may be the greatest thing since 'The Gong Show' but how many variations of these shows can viewers invest in?

We saw a similar effect after the success of 'Survivor,' with an onslaught of copycat and original competitive reality show imports. The point is, with a bunch of other successful projects (count 'em, four 'Kardashian' series!) already on his plate, Ryan Seacrest may be spreading not only himself, but the genre itself, a little too thin.

The possibility of a Seacrest-less 'Idol'?
There's no word yet if Seacrest would take on hosting duties on his new series, but it seems unlikely, as Billboard points out, his deal with 'Idol' parent company, CKX, prohibits the host from appearing on any other broadcast network until the end of next season. However that doesn't mean Seacrest won't be doing everything but hosting the show, behind the scenes.

But what if the unthinkable happens, Ryan Seacrest leaves 'Idol'?
As we near the end of 'Idol's' first run without Simon Cowell, no one should blink an eye at the thought of the show continuing without Ryan Seacrest. At the risk of making a Brian Dunkleman or Seacrest Botox joke, 'Idol' could certainly use a facelift after ten years. While season ten has been rocky, to say the least, the numbers prove that people will watch 'Idol' without the stars who made it a pop culture institution. However, 'American Idol' creator, Simon Fuller may not see it the same way. "Ryan is one person I would not want to lose," said Fuller.

As much as we love to speculate on news like this and its impact on the future of 'American Idol,' the truth is it will probably be a year or two until Ryan Seacrest's new series materializes. In the meantime, we've still got a season 10 winner to crown. Let us know your thoughts on Seacrest's new project in the comments below and check-in with the latest 'American Idol' happenings here!

'American Idol' airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8PM ET on Fox.

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Fedora Cross

There has already been lot of controversy, isn't it ? I still think its been over hyped by the media.


May 04 2011 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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