As the 10th season of Fox's American Idol nears—the latest cycle debuts with two two-hour audition programs on January 19 and 20—the question on most TV analysts' minds is whether the music contest show can maintain its status as TV's top-rated program.
Following a disappointing ninth season, not to mention lead judge Simon Cowell's exit from the series, as well as the departure of fellow judges Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi, the network announced several changes to the show. These included the appointment of new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, and new broadcast nights—Wednesdays and Thursdays, instead of Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Correspondent Alan Frutkin recently spoke with executive producer Nigel Lythgoe—who left the series in 2008, but returned this past year to oversee the format changes, following Cowell's departure.
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