Secret plan to dump Mariah Carey from American Idol called “ridiculous” by Fox

American Idol is experiencing its lowest-ratings since season one, despite a pre-season feud, and Fox and the show’s producers came up with an innovative plan, according to a report: Fire Mariah Carey and replace her with Jennifer Lopez, who judged last year and then quit, but that didn’t happen because Mariah threatened to sue.

The Hollywood Reporter’s story on the mid-season replacement plot was denied by a Fox spokesperson, who called it “just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale.”

Curiously, though, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told the paper, “I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season.” That’s really strange language that suggests there was a conversation that he wasn’t part of, which is weird since he produces the show. If there was no plan, why not just say so?

That Nigel wasn’t involved does jibe with another detail the paper cited: “Fox reality chief Mike Darnell and Fremantle’s Cecile Frot-Coutaz have been especially concerned about the Idol ratings trajectory, and they hoped that a surprise shake-up on the judges’ panel would help.” In other words, it was a higher-level conversation.

On a semi-related note, there’s this detail attributed to an anonymous source about the show’s ratings problems: “The core viewer is a midwestern, Southern, older woman who is threatened by Nicki’s aggressiveness.” That seems like pretty transparent, coded language, and if American Idol is really desperate enough to start pandering to racist old people, it’s in a lot of trouble.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.