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  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 11, 2002
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13
American Idol Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Starring: Tamyra Gray, Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest
  • Summary: This is American Idol - the hit FOX musical reality series following four judges, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson (II) and Paula Abdul, along with host Ryan Seacrest around the United States in search of the next American Idol, a pop star that truly shines above all the rest. With help from the viewers, they will decide from thousands of participants who will walk away with a record deal and the fame and fortune that is sure to come along with it. American Idol began as a spinoff of Pop Idol, a U.K. series with the same general format and also featuring Simon Cowell as a judge. It has since emerged as hit series in its own right, propelling FOX to the top of television rankings, inspiring various merchandise, and launching the careers of many hit-stars. The show also lead to a short-lived spinoff with younger singers called American Juniors. The series is currently in its ninth season, featuring what the judges are describing as the best crop of new talent yet. Changes have been made to the season, with contestants allowed to play instruments during the program's famous "Hollywood Week" and a renewed focus on talent, rather than guest celebrities. This season also featured different guest judges during the audition process. These judges included Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Shania Twain, Kristin Chenoweth, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, Neil Patrick Harris and Joe Jonas. American Idol can generally be caught Tuesday and Wednesday nights on FOX. However, watch listings, as airings are often extended from their original broadcast times, to as much as two hours in length. You can also catch American Idol: Rewind in syndication, a program narrated by Clay Aiken, featuring the best of past seasons. American Idol is also available on DVD, and specials about the program are often seen on both TV Guide Channel and FOX Reality. Expand
  • Genre(s): Music
  • Creator: Simon Fuller
  • Show Type: Between Seasons
  • Season 1 premiere date: Jun 11, 2002
  • Episode Length: 60
  • Air Time: 08:00 PM
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Monica Collins
    Jun 19, 2013
    The show everybody will be talking about around the water cooler. [20 Jun 2002]
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 4, 2013
    Idol is a shamefully addictive cross between Ed McMahon's old "Star Search" and Chuck Barris' hoary, whore-y "The $1.98 Beauty Show."
  3. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jun 28, 2013
    There you have the magic of Idol: British headmasterly discipline running smack into the preternatural sense of self-esteem--often inversely proportional to talent--that Americans have hardwired into them from the womb. You may wince at Cowell's barbs, but you also welcome them when Abdul or Jackson offers a wimpy "Good job" to a singer who has scraped the fingernails of her ambition down the chalkboard of her limited ability.
  4. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jun 19, 2013
    So much about the Fox series is unseemly, and I don't just mean the commercial-to-show ratio and the sponsor plugs, which have been downright obscene. "American Idol," a new hybrid of reality TV and beauty pageantry, represents some of the crudest aspects of both network TV and the pop-music industry. ... And yet, and yet. "American Idol" remains addictive TV. [4 Sep 2002]
  5. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    Jun 19, 2013
    Offering prefab middle-of-the-road stardom, "American Idol" is entertaining, but not for the reasons its producers like to pretend. The open secret that the show's creators and its fans choose to ignore is that the music and arrangements are trite, full of wannabe Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder wails. Originality is a losing strategy. But the series does have a stroke of commercial genius, as it shrewdly combines elements from a smattering of other series into one big marketable soup. It's "Survivor" with a soundtrack.
  6. 50
    "American Idol" boasts two new wrinkles. First, the performances are so tightly edited that each singer gets barely a minute onstage. ... The second innovation: The contest is rigged. [21 Jun 2002]
  7. Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    May 21, 2013
    [A] blockheaded version of a high school talent show. ... What could be more stultifying than the way this non-celebrity sing-off crams product placement into the viewer's field of vision, everything from the Big Gulp-size Coca-Cola cups on the judges' table to the contestants being forced to enact a troglodytic skit while inside a Ford Focus? [26 Aug 2002]

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. May 8, 2013
    It's an spectacular show i love it, the live perfomnances, the judges, all in this is great, see you will not lose soo much every season upgrades all of the production and all Expand
  2. Jun 13, 2014
    This show actually used to be pretty good. The main problem with it now is that, all the good gudges have now left. I liked this show a lot better with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson. Now with these new judges it seems like the show has become very bad. If the old judges were to come back, I would have watched every minute, of every episode. Expand
  3. May 18, 2013
    They might as well end the show after Season 12 of AI.
    Nicki Minaj, the untalented and horrifying judge ruined this show.
    0 for me, your
    welcome producers, your show has turned to complete crap and racism. Expand

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