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Interview

“American Idol” exec Nigel Lythgoe talks Hollywood Week and more

On the eve of American Idol‘s Season 11 Hollywood Week adventures, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe fielded conference call questions from TV journalists. And though we were politely urged to keep it to Idol, the queries stretched just a leeeetle bit to encompass X-Factor, Smash, The Voice and the future of rising entertainment mogul Mr. Ryan Seascrest. Straight out of the gate, Lythgoe revealed that last year’s much-admired — and blessedly effective — contestant mentor uber-producer Jimmy Iovine would be back, along with other guest mentors he wouldn’t name. Surprisingly — at least to me — he also compared Iovine to […]

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Holiday

“American Idol” holiday e-cards available

So there are only two days until Christmas, and you haven’t sent any cards out. Hey, this the Digital Age, and there’s always time to shoot off a quick holiday note to someone — at least in the form of an e-card. And if that someone happens to also be a fan of FOX’s hit series American Idol (which is returning for Season 11 on Jan. 18), you’re really in luck, because the network has made available a set of American Idol holiday e-cards that can be personalized for everyone on your list. Just go to www.idolholidaycard.com and pick your […]

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Music

Kelly Clarkson goes unplugged in VH1 special

By Tom Comi Follow @ChannelGuide Some could argue that the first season of American Idol wasn’t as competitive as the the following years due to its then-obscurity, but nobody can claim that there has been a winner to date with a more powerful voice than inaugural champ Kelly Clarkson. Fans and skeptics alike can find out tonight (11pm ET) when the Texas native takes the stage in a VH1 Unplugged special. For those unfamiliar with the term, unplugged means a scaled-down, acoustic performance with no electric guitars, keyboards or over-amplification. It presents musicians and singers as they are, instead of […]

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Music

NBC’s “The Sing-Off” is the best singing competition this season

By Tom Comi Follow @ChannelGuide If you want to watch a fun singing competition instead of Simon Cowell’s American Idol wannabe on FOX, I would highly suggest you tune in tonight to NBC’s under-the-radar The Sing-Off. Let me warn you first, though. You’re not going to get a high-end production like you do with Cowell’s The X-Factor, there isn’t an ounce of hype surrounding this show, and you surely won’t tune in more for the judges than you will the singers. If that’s your thing, then by all means The X-Factor is probably the better bet. But if you are […]

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TV News & Program Updates

New fall TV series are likely to be canceled

Remember Crusoe? Miss Guided? How about Journeyman? Neither do we. Pardon our cynicism, but if you’re interested in a new broadcast network series this fall, here’s a little advice: Don’t get too attached. We took a look back at the success rates of debut series for ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX and NBC over the last five television seasons, and the numbers are grim. Statistically, only 1 out of 3 new series will see the light of a second season. Even fewer will last beyond the sophomore slump to season 3. The worst year for debut series came in 2008-2009, […]

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Commentary

Reality shows need better screening processes

By Tom Comi Follow @ChannelGuide Nobody will ever know if Russell Armstrong would have committed suicide had he not appeared on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. But there should be a growing concern that the people appearing on such reality shows lack the stability to endure the spotlight they so desperately crave. We won’t manufacture a cause-and-effect relationship between what happens off-air and on-air with these programs; however, something good needs to come out of Armstrong’s suicide, and I’m hoping that involves better screening and more counseling by the producers of these shows.

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Music

“The Glee Project” hits all the right notes in first season

By Tom Comi Follow @ChannelGuide You really have to hand it to Ryan Murphy. Not only did he create the FOX mega-hit Glee, but he found a way to come up with a reality show on Oxygen to ultimately replace the stars that made Glee a hit. Although The Glee Project (season finale airs Sunday at 9pm ET) doesn’t come remotely close to drawing the eyeballs of its mother ship, the contest in which the winner gets a 7-episode appearance on the forthcoming season of Glee has managed to accomplish several things:

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TV News & Program Updates

Emmy nominees react on Twitter

By Jeff Pfeiffer Follow @ChannelGuideJP In the wake of today’s announcement of this year’s Emmy Award nominations, several of the nominees responded in various ways via Twitter. Here are just a few notable ones. Tweets are presented [sic]: Alec Baldwin (@AlecBaldwin), nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series as Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock: “Thank you for the congratulations re: the Emmys. My one wish….I want Jane Krakowski to win.” (Baldwin’s 30 Rock costar Krakowski is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.) Chaz Bono (@ChazBono), producer and star of Becoming Chaz, nominated for Outstanding Nonfiction […]

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Music

“American Idol” Season 11 auditions to kick off soon

By Jeff Pfeiffer Follow @ChannelGuideJP The seemingly never-ending American Idol juggernaut is seeking its next round of contestants for Season 11. The nationwide search begins June 28 in St. Louis, at the Scottrade Center (1401 Clark Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63103). Producers are seeking men and women 15-28 years old (as of June 26, 2011), who are eligible to work in the United States. Wristbands will be distributed from approximately 7am on June 26 until approximately 8am on June 28. Auditioners will not be permitted to camp out. Once auditioners obtain their wristbands, they will be asked to return to […]

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Reality TV

It all comes to an end on American Idol

by Ruth Anne Boulet Who will step in and give Lauren Alaina a sparkle intervention? Who? Does A&E have a show about that? They should. She needs it. They could also have a hair extension episode. We begin with Glee wannabe performance of “Born this Way.” Everyone needs a sparkle intervention. All the girls, at least. The boys need a crotch intervention. Who checks the fit on these clothes? Those crotches are insane! Michael Kors could totally be the interventionist. Next up is Durbin and Judas Priest. For the occasion they’ve totally gayed up James. He’s studded out. He looks […]