Though a Fox publicist reminded everyone that Tuesday’s conference call with “American Idol” exec producer Nigel Lythgoe was about Hollywood Week, reporters and bloggers seemed much more interested in finding out Lythgoe’s thoughts on the “Idol” ratings drop this season.
At first, Lythgoe gave a standard “After 11 years, I’m thrilled with these ratings” response, and admitted that “The Voice” and “The X Factor” had diluted the audience, along with feeding from the same talent pool. But after multiple questions about “Idol’s” fate in the wake of all those other singing competitions hitting the air, Lythgoe sounded increasingly annoyed.
“Whatever bad press we’re getting about these ratings — my God, the rest of the world would love these ratings, for God’s sake,” Lythgoe said, when asked about hypothetical changes that “Idol” might make this season. “Whatever is happening now, we’ve survived for 11 years, why on earth would we start looking for other things to put in there?”
He wasn’t done: “And let’s hope all of the other shows like ‘X Factor’ and ‘The Voice.’ continue to be successful for 11 years. I’ll celebrate....I’ll keep my fingers crossed for them. But 11 years is a long time to go.”
As for “The Voice,” which premiered over two nights this week, Lythgoe pronounced the show “gimmicky.”
“I particularly like the relationship between [judges] Blake and Adam,” he said. “Other than that, I think they need stronger talent. We’ll see.”