SANTA ANA, Calif. (CAP) - Despite the enormous ratings and unprecedented attention it has garnered over its first six seasons, the Fox hit American Idol has officially jumped the shark, according to industry experts gathered at this year's Consortium On Television And Film in Santa Ana, Calif. Officials warn that the upcoming season of Idol will likely be its last.
"Idol's like one of those houses you build out of playing cards," said Jennifer DelPino, CFO of the popular industry website tventertainment.com. "You build it too high, and the structure that you've built can't support all those extra playing cards, so the playing cards on the top start to fall in on the ones at the bottom. What are those called again?
"Oh yeah, a house of cards - it's like a house of cards," said DelPino.
Analysts at the annual conference said the news that the show's most successful alumnus, Kelly Clarkson, had cancelled her world tour due to poor ticket sales was "the icing on the cake" in their jump vote.
"Kelly is just a microcosm for the whole show - and now she's been dropped by her major sponsors," said MIT professor of Television Arts and Sciences Bruce Mulvaney. "The only gig she's been able to land is the new spokeswoman for Kanklets, a new line of jewelry for women who have those kankles - you know, where their calf merges right into their foot with no discernable ankle. Ugh, those things are nasty."
Merrill Lemlin, author of the NY Times best-seller TV Shows We Once Loved, Then Kind Of Liked, But Now Hate, said Clarkson isn't the only example of the show's faltering status.
"Taylor Hicks? Pumping gas in Alabama. Fantasia? Driving a bus in Indianapolis," said Lemlin. "And Clay Aiken? He's fallen in as part of 50 Cent's 'G-Unit' crew, and everyone knows that those guys are up to no good!"
"Jumping the shark" is a term coined by Sean J. Connolly in Ann Arbor, Mich. in 1985 that dictates the point at which a TV show loses its credibility and popularity, typically defined by a singular event. The expression itself refers to the telltale sign of the demise of Happy Days, when Fonzie actually jumped over a shark on water-skis while wearing his leather jacket.
In another obvious sign that Idol has indeed jumped, Fox announced today that veteran TV actor Ted McGinley would be replacing Randy Jackson at the judges' table next season. McGinley has been credited with being involved in the jumping of almost a dozen different TV shows, including the aforementioned Happy Days, Married With Children and The Love Boat.
- CAP News Staff