Fox TV cut American Idol’s hours to 37 from roughly 50 hours for the season. The show reigned for several years as the highest-rated program on U.S. television but has suffered a sharp audience decline, down 19 percent this season to 12.2 million viewers on average
The televised singing contest, now 13 years old and dragging on ratings for the network owned by Twenty-First Century Fox FOXA.O, will start the season at two nights a week during the auditions phase. But “it’s quite likely it’ll end up being a two-hour show on one night through most of its run,” Fox Broadcasting Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly said on a conference call on Monday.
Fox, along with its broadcast rivals, is announcing its new shows in an annual spring presentation this week known as the upfronts, when networks try to persuade advertisers to buy billions of dollars worth of commercial time for the TV season that starts in the fall.