Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Falling in Idol's Wake

They might have carried guns, but Idol killed them. Variety reports that two weeks into its new season, Idol has resulted in the cancellation of one show and the moving of another. CBS has pulled the comedy-reality series "Armed and Famous" from its schedule effective immediately, while ABC has shifted "The Knights of Prosperity" out of the "Idol" line of fire.

"Knights" will air Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m., with "According to Jim" shifting to 9. "Idol" won't air during the 8-9 p.m. hour for the next three weeks, giving "Knights" a better shot at finding an audience.

Idol managed to destroy a big chunk of the "Armed" audience, which started with solid numbers when it premiered three weeks ago in its 8 p.m. slot. Several unaired episodes remain and are expected to surface over the summer.

Diehard "Armed & Famous" fans can turn to VH1 if they can't go cold turkey. The cable service will run a five-hour marathon this Saturday, including an unaired episode of the Muncie-based series, preceded by the four previously aired episodes. According to the producers, seven episodes of the series were originally scheduled to be made.

A VH1 spokesman told The Star Press on Monday, "If the producers deliver to us the sixth and seventh episodes of the show, then we will air them. As of now, it's unclear whether they are finishing them or not."

VH1 will again run the first five episodes beginning at noon Wednesday, Feb. 7.

What happens in Vegas ...

Teen People reports that the Nevada Ballet Theatre honored Paula Abdul in Las Vegas on Saturday, naming her Woman of the Year. Trying for a little comedy in her acceptance speech, Abdul attempted to poke fun at her allegedly inebriated appearance on a Seattle news station in January. "Don't ever give a swivel stool to someone who's very hyper and active because I will spin and spin and spin."

She also saracastically thanked her Idol castmates. "I couldn't do it without the three men in my life," she said of Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest, who flanked her. "Every time Randy Jackson opens up his mouth, I look like a Nobel Prize winner. Every time Simon Cowell opens his mouth, Borat sounds like a Nobel Prize winner ... Ryan, I really do love him; almost as much as he loves himself ... These three brothers are the best thing a girl can hope for, just ask my therapists."

Season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry, who has the current No. 1 album on the Billboard charts, was on hand to serenade his former judge with two acoustic songs.

It's Just His Day Job

Simon Cowell own an iPod? Nope! Listening to music is his
day job, and Celebrity Spider.com quotes Cowell as saying he can go great lengths of time without listening to music for enjoyment. "[I can] go weeks without listening to music for pleasure, " Cowell said. "If you work at a fish and chip shop, it's unlikely you're going to eat fish and chips at night. The idea of sitting in an audition room for 14 hours then putting on my iPod -- it's like, 'No! I can't do it.' "

A Cingular sensation

According to PR Newswire, Cingular will try to keep your fingers texting those Idol votes by offering subscribers access to some of the most outrageous moments from the show directly from their mobile phones.

"We are pleased to make highlights from this season's audition shows available to fans on their wireless phones, so they can relive their favorite moments as often as they like, whenever they like," said John Burbank, vice president, wireless marketing, AT&T.

For the next three weeks, the Cingular Video library will feature up to 10 new clips of Idols that didn't make the cut. To access these Bad Audition video clips, consumers need a 3G phone, such as the SYNC from Samsung or the Samsung Blackjack, and sign up for the $19.99 MEdia MAX Bundle, which includes unlimited Cingular Video.

In addition to the video content, Bad Audition ringtones ($2.49 each) and Answer Tones ($1.99, in addition to a monthly service charge of $0.99.) are also available.

Throughout the season, AT&T's wireless unit, which generated more than 64.5 million Idol text messages last season, will be introducing new Idol-themed content as well as favorites such as Idol Chat, Idol Trivia, Live Idol Tones and more. Click here for more information on Idol mobile happenings.

Gambling on an Idol payoff

WCNC-TV says that parents are questioning the appropriateness of "American Idol" scratch-off lottery tickets available for purchase in South Carolina. The prizes include cash and tickets to the "American Idol" finale.

When the station showed the new lottery tickets to several parents in Fort Mill on Monday most did not like what they saw. Judy Clark, who has 12 grandchildren, said, "It looks like 'American Idol' is sponsoring it, and kids would be drawn to it. I don't think it's right; you need something else."

Bruce White said his 11-year-old daughter loves "American Idol," and if she saw the tickets in the store, she would ask him to buy them. "I believe the kids would want their parents to buy those tickets because it says 'American Idol,' and it could get them in the habit of buying tickets," said White.

The South Carolina Lottery, however, said its "American Idol" scratch-off tickets do not target kids and pointed to the show's demographics. The show's own research shows 90 percent of its audience is between 18 and 50 years old. The South Carolina Lottery also noted that a person must be 18 in order to buy a ticket.

Delaware, California and Michigan are other states that also sell "American Idol" lottery tickets.

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