The New York Times profiles Simon Cowell today, and explores both American Idol‘s success and Simon’s hopes for his upcoming series, such as American Inventor. The paper got a network executive to admit, albeit anonymously, that the show will kill anything in its path. Scheduling a show against Idol is like “going into a radioactive zone — anything you put there is going to get wiped out,” the exec says.
As to Simon, he’s doing quite well, with series forthcoming on other networks, never mind counting all the cash he’s raking in from FOX and the “50 million records [sold] through ‘Idol’ alone in the last four years.” Simon says he’s legitimately invested in the process, which is probably why he offers actual criticism rather than showing up coked up and high and babbling incoherently, not that there’s anyone who does that. “The only reason that I put myself through this pain is because my label gets the artist. Which is why I actually do care if I hate somebody or I actually like somebody,” Simon told the paper.
He also says the show has real consequences. “What for me makes ‘Idol’ so special is that under a reality banner so much of what we see today can’t be considered reality,” he said. “Auditioning is reality. You win ‘Idol,’ the odds are you’re going to get a career out of it.” Well, unless you’re a loser.