'American Idol' ratings worry News Corp.'s Chase Carey
"The ratings aren't where we would have hoped," Carey said at Deutsche Bank's annual Media and Telecommunications conference.
"American Idol," in its 11th season, is still a hit. But it is no longer untouchable. This season the show's audience has fallen 20% in total viewers to 19.8 million, compared with almost 25 million last season. Among adults 18 to 49, the show is down 26%.
Carey, who typically steers clear of the creative side of the entertainment business, said he thought "American Idol" must find a way to "drive some fresh energy" to it. He noted that with the success of NBC's "The Voice" and the introduction of Fox's own "The X Factor," the talent show category is much more competitive than in previous years and "American Idol" needs to up its game.
Fox, he said, has to "continue to make sure the show has a freshness and insight and originality to it."
However, Carey isn't ready to say "American Idol" is nearing the end. The glass, he said, is half-full.
"We think it is a franchise with a lot of legs left in it," Carey said, adding the program still makes Fox "a lot of money."
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Chase Carey. Credit: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg