Is Fox Providence Loving The New American Idol?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Executives at Fox Providence, owned by WPRI, are saying "Simon Who" right about now. You see when it was first announced that Simon Cowell - American Idol's most well known judge - was leaving the show there were some pretty nervous people. Cowell, who left to start The X Factor here in the US, was seen as a huge ratings draw for Fox affiliates around the country. In speaking with people from Fox Providence and Fox 25 in Boston, the question was would AI (American Idol) take a hit and result in a loss of badly needed advertising revenue.

The results are in

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Well, to say that Cowell is not a factor at all would be the kind of way of saying it. Recently Fox network had it's highest ratings yet in prime time according to In 56 markets across the country, AI beat out CBS, NBC, ABC and the CW quite easily. Nationwide, American Idol had 12-million households tuning in - while CBS followed with 10-million households and NBC and the CW were even further back in the pack. 

The addition of bad boy rocker Steven Tyler from Aerosmith fame and singer Jennifer Lopez is working just fine.

Providence sees a nice bump up

We checked in with Fox Providence on how the new show is doing and it's all smiles over there. Here is why. One year ago, with Simon, the show had 15.1 rating here in Providence. Each rating point equals about 6,200 households. So with a 15.1 rating AI registered about 93,620 households watching back then. Now, with Tyler and Lopez as judge and jury for the wanna be stars, the show here in Providence registers a 16.3 rating which equals about 101,000 households watching. It's a big deal because viewers tend not to like change and with such a hit on it's hands, Fox took a big gamble and it's now paying off.

"We're Thrilled"

WPRI News Director Joe Abouzeid telling GoLocal that the station is thrilled with the performance of AI. "No one knew what viewers reaction was going to be - or if there would be an adjustment period. We're pleased with the results so far" said Abouzeid.

In other "Idol" news, two local singers made it onto the show. One person is from Woonsocket and the other is from North Kingstown. Because of how the show works, we're not sure yet how far they went.

But if the recent ratings are any indication - Southern New England will be watching for sure to see if they make it to stardom.

And TV executives here will keep saying "Simon Who?" week after week.

Jeff Derderian is a former television news reporter and anchor both in Providence and Boston. He is one of the founders of the Station Education Fund. He can be reached at [email protected]


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