Wednesday, April 09, 2008

'Idol' Gives Back, Again

No matter whether you are a fan of "American Idol" or not, it's undeniable the show's impact in terms of viewers reached.

Last year, the producers started "Idol Gives Back," in which they took a week out of the competition to raise money for charity. Throwing in major stars into the mix, "AI" raised more than $76 million last year for various charities.

Tonight, the producers hope to surpass that total when the special airs at an early time (Fox, 7:30 p.m.) In addition to the "AI" contestants, participants include Bono, Mariah Carey, Billy Crystal, Miley Cyrus, Celine Dion, Fergie, John Legend, Annie Lennox, Maroon 5, Brad Pitt, Snoop Dogg and Reese Witherspoon. Former "AI" stars Chris Daughtry, Fantasia, Elliott Yamin and Carrie Underwood will also perform, and all three Presidential candidates will take part as well.

Though I'm not an "AI" fan by any stretch, it is nice when TV can have a positive impact on society, and the idea of using TV's highest-rated show for charity is a pretty sound one. Here's hoping they reach last year's total and beyond.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Against the "AI" juggernaut, the other networks seem to be holding back, which is probably a smart move. Only CBS has new dramatic offerings with new episodes of "Criminal Minds" at 9 p.m. and "CSI: NY" at 10 p.m.


zodin2008 said...

In response to your bad news yesterday, you're right, "Bones" going to Mondays stinks. It's getting to a point where any show worth watching is either on Monday or Thursday and Tuesday and Wednesday are essentially there for me to watch what's on my DVR or catch up with stuff online.

I am please Idol is giving money to charity. You still couldn't pay me to watch it, but I am pleased they are giving back.

Gina said...

I was watching the tube yesterday when a preview for a new movie called "Baby Mama" ( came on. It seems to me that it's a rip off of the axed show The Return of Jezebel James, or maybe even vice-versa. Any thoughts?

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, Zod, I think the point of tonight's show is you paying them to watch, but OK.

Gina, ideas can't really be copyrighted and often ideas come out around the same time that are similar but created independently. I know Tina Fey had been kicking around Baby Mama for a while (and it takes typically a minimum of 18 months to make a movie) while Amy Sherman-Palladino also had Return of JJ in her head ever since Gilmore Girls ended.

While I'm sure there will be some similarities, JJ was as much about the relationship between two completely opposite sisters, while in Baby Mama, Tina Fey hires a screwball to serve as her womb. If anything, it's going to be closer akin to Knocked up than JJ. And if Fey were trying to rip someone off, I think she would pick something other than a show that ran for three episodes before being axed.

The other idea is that TV and movie producers try to stick with formulas that have had success in the past, which is why there seem to be so few fresh ideas out of Hollywood these days.

Anonymous said...

I believe the Ten Commandments addresses this rediculous reality show:

"Thou shalt not committeth Idoltry."

Phillip Ramati said...

Anon, I think the producers only want your money, not sacrifice lambs at the alter of Fantasia (but maybe I'm wrong).

KellyC said...

I don't remember if the competition was skipped for a week last year (I think they did the competition but didn't boot anyone off that week?) BUT this past week they did competition show on Tuesday, Gives Back show on Wednesday, then Booted someone off on Thursday.

People are so impatient anymore :) They want an end to AI apparently sooner than later.