Australian Idol’s changes improve its ratings

Australian Idol‘s fourth season has improved its ratings by making changes to series. As a result, “other markets are eyeing the core changes,” which are “the biggest overhaul of the ‘Idol’ format in any of the show’s 30 markets worldwide,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Last year, “Ratings for the weekly performance shows had dropped 30% from the highs of 2004,” while “the finale['s ratings] had plummeted from a record 3.3 million viewers in 2004 to 1.9 million,” the paper reports. Now, “viewers have risen to closer to 1.7 million a week for the performance shows, up from an average of 1.4 million last year.”

The changes aren’t genre-changing or completely crazy. Instead, the paper reports, they involved “increasing the eligible age of the contestants to 30, traveling to more cities for auditions, allowing performers to audition with instruments, encouraging more singer-songwriters to enter, stripping the semifinals over five evenings in one week and breaking them up into male and female groupings, and producing a one-off ‘Up Close and Personal’ special in which contestants performed an original song to showcase songwriting talents to Sony BMG and the audience.”

Australian ‘Idol’ format tweaks boost ratings [Hollywood Reporter]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.