There are those who argue that the American Idol winners and runners-up who have hit it big will never last. The kids love them today, but they’ll be footnotes in a few years. But those predictions miss the point that what we are witnessing is one of the most effective marketing machines in media history. A show does incredible ratings and makes carloads of money in the process of marketing future stars who then make the show’s producers more carloads of money. So far, Idol graduates have sold eight million albums and three million singles. Does it really matter if, over time, those carloads of money include a few bodies in the trunk?
While we’ve been seeing hints of it here and there, I’d still like to see someone pull off Idol’s television counterpart: A reality television program about the creation of a new reality television program. And what will the new program be about? The creation of a new reality television program.
Just grab your phones. The voting starts soon.