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.”

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