Today in show business news: American Idol's premiere ratings were significantly lower than hoped, a good actress gets a good gig, and Karl Rove will be back for more.
Last night's jumbo, action-packed season premiere of American Idol was down almost twenty percent in the ratings from last year. Which means that not as many people were as interested in seeing new judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey bicker with each other as Fox was clearly hoping were. Sorry, ladies. And sorry to you too, Keith Urban? I guess? Everyone kinda forgot that poor ol' Keith was joining the show too. But he is there, right in between Nicki and Mariah, so, we gotta appreciate that. But yes, Idol's 17.9 million viewers (down from last year's 21.9 million) and 6.0 rating (down from a 7.4) is not a good sign for this aging television behemoth. Those are still very big numbers for television in 2013, but this old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be. And, I gotta say, as much as I like Mariah Carey and find Nicki Minaj at least interesting, I'm kind of glad that Fox's lame trumpeting about feuds and cat fights and all that vaguely anti-woman stuff backfired. I mean, I suppose it's possible it worked and that the ratings would have been even lower had the promise of wig-pulling not been in the air, but I sorta doubt it. I think, gulp, that people watch American Idol for the singers, not for staged judges antics. So, focus on that in the future, Fox marketing team. You got a pure product, don't dilute it with all that chemical muck. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Here's a nice TV story: Betsy Brandt, one of Breaking Bad's most unsung heroes, has been cast as the female lead opposite Michael J. Fox on his new NBC sitcom; that's the one that's already been picked up for 22 episodes, sight unseen. Meaning she's got a lot of steady work coming to her soon, for big network dollars. Sure she's just playing Fox's "tough and loyal wife," like so many sitcom wifey roles, but whatever. It's Michael J. Fox, it's a near-guaranteed 22 episodes, and it's a lotta scratch after working on basic cable for the last five years. This is good news. Well done, Betsy B. Hope the show is good. [Deadline]