American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe seems to be feeling the heat of his competitors this year, a decline in viewers for its latest season clearly ranking with the senior member, allied with the fact that NBC competitor 'The Voice' opened up its new season to an audience of a whopping 37.6 million, helped in no small part by the fact that it followed straight after the weekend's Superbowl coverage on the same channel. 'Idol' clocked about 19.7 million when it aired last Wednesday, February 1st, part of a 20% decline in figures since it returned to screens for its 11th season last month.
However, Reuters reports that Lythgoe was in tenacious mood, attacking rival shows and questioning whether they'd have the same longevity as his program has had. "We have survived for 11 years and whatever bad press we are getting about these ratings - God! the rest of the world would love these ratings," an irate Lythgoe responded, continuing "American Idol' is now in the history books and will remain there. And let's hope all the other shows like 'X Factor' and 'The Voice' continue to be successful for 11 years...I will keep my fingers crossed for them."
The producer took particular aim at Simon Cowell's 'X Factor,' which was renewed for a second season after a successful debut run last year; Lythgoe states that it "feels like two 'Idol' singing seasons (a year) on Fox." Describing 'The Voice' as "gimmicky," he concluded "If what you want is real good talent without gimmicks, without fireworks going off and without flashing lights, and just bloody good talent on the stage, then watch 'American Idol' because that is what you are going to get."