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'NCIS' To Give 'American Idol' Some Competition? - Featured

For eight seasons, American Idol has had a steady stranglehold on the top spot of the ratings totem pole. ABC reality competition Dancing with the Stars tried to give Idol some competition last season, but its efforts fell short, notching a few million viewers below the Fox juggernaut. This season, one show will once again try to pierce through Idol's mighty armor, and judging from the show's ratings history, it just might do so. CBS procedural NCIS , one of the few shows that registered a hike in the ratings amidst an overall slump, will try to challenge Idol's supremacy on Tuesday nights next year, says network bigwigs. "NCIS is Idol-proof," says CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday. "Idol comes and goes, and NCIS pretty much holds its place." Now on its 7th season, NCIS has steadily been climbing the ratings ladder, from an 11.84 mil average in its debut run to 17.89 mil in the 6th, solidifying its grip on the number 2 spot. American Idol, on the other hand, has seen a dip in its ratings in the past couple of seasons. But its 30.4 mil average in the last season is still something not readily dismissible. NCIS is also being paired up this season with spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles, yet another arsenal from the CBS camp. The new show stars LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell, and is seen to help NCIS in its challenge to beat Idol. Source Here

American Idol: Kara's Return Made Official

"Just to make it official, since we've already mentioned this some time last week, Kara DioGuardi is returning to American Idol. Cue the executives talking."-Tv buddy "Kara's spitfire personality and sharp musical sensibility infused American Idol with a new energy last year," Fox president for alternative programming Mike Darnell said. "She clearly has a keen eye for talent--spotting Adam Lambert's superstar quality early on last season--and her performance on the season 8 finale was one of the most memorable in recent Idol history." Yep, he was referring to that thing with Bikini Girl. With all honesty, I have forgotten all about it. But that makes things a little tight for the rest. Ryan Seacrest's also confirmed; apparently, Simon Cowell is also confirmed, although I haven't seen any official word on it, unless I really just missed it. Randy Jackson's got one year left in his contract. Paula Abdul? The negotiations are still ongoing, after all that hubbub his manager's statements a few weeks back caused, and as she said on her Twitter page, she'll only return if the deal is "fair". Another official statement then. "We are so happy to welcome back Kara for her second season with Idol," executive producer Simon Fuller said. "She is a breath of fresh air, and her passion for music and her understanding of talent is invaluable. This show is all about discovering new talent, and Kara's championing of Adam Lambert is proof positive of her great instinct." We saw it coming, indeed. Now to see if the picture will really be complete. Source:

Kara DioGuardi Coming Back for More 'American Idol'

While Paula Abdul's return to " American Idol " is still hanging on a balance, the deal with fellow judge Kara DioGuardi is working out. The fourth judge, who was only added last season, will be back for another round although her deal is not as fulfilling as the other judges' and host Ryan Seacrest's. "Her deal is done. There are no ifs, ands or buts," a source told E! Online. "Done. She will be back." Kara's rep is still quiet about the report but she is expected to shoot for the auditions in two weeks time. The ninth season meanwhile, is scheduled to begin in early 2010. On the downside, Paula reportedly has not reached a deal with the producers to reprise her role. "There's an offer on the table, but it's not one that Paula is happy with," said a source close to the singer. "She sees the big money Ryan Seacrest got, she knows that Simon is close to a huge deal, too. She feels like it's personal that she's not getting the same big numbers." Standing behind Paula is former Idol champion Jordin Sparks who told MTV, "Knowing all the stress and what you deal with mentally, Paula was always the one to soften the blow. If she's not there, I think, for the contestants, it will be a lot more stressful than usual." Source Here

American Idol: Jennifer Lopez Denies Replacing Paula Abdul

And then another name gets thrown in that growing-but-quieting-down will-Paula-return-to-Idol? fire: Jennifer Lopez's. But the actress and performer denies rumors that she is in the running to replace Paula Abdul on the American Idol judges' desk. "The rumor of Jennifer Lopez throwing herself in the ring to take over for Paula Abdul is completely false," a representative for the actress told People magazine. "Jennifer loves Idol, but just as a fan. She just wrapped the feature film The Back-Up Plan, due out January 2010, and will release an album then as well." The rumor was apparently triggered when Jennifer, who just turned 40 last Friday, was spotted having dinner with Ryan Seacrest earlier this month. Ryan, who just signed a $45-million deal to stay with the show, later told paps that a Jennifer-Paula pair-up on Idol would be "a hell of a combination". Spiking up this story is the much-publicized issue surrounding Paula's negotiations for the show: she still has yet to sign a contract, and it's alleged that producers refused her demands for a $20 million paycheck this year. Just before the weekend there were rumors that British singer Cheryl Cole will take her place, but she reportedly turned down the offer. They're better off announcing Paula's fate now, else more names would be mentioned. But J.Lo's a pretty good fit, if ever that happens... Source Here

American Idol: Brit Singer Cheryl Cole Reportedly Offered Paula Abdul's Seat

Uh-oh. This certainly makes things more complicated. Much more complicated. In the light of all that controversy as to whether Paula Abdul will be leaving American Idol or not, reports have surfaced that British singer Cheryl Cole has been offered $6 million to take over the slot. However, she turned it down, because her husband, soccer player Ashley Cole, will be in England at the time. Cole began her singing career as part of British pop group Girls Aloud, which went on to score 21 singles on the UK Top Ten. (And, to their credit, a handful of earworms. "Chemistry" might not be familiar to most of you, but it was stuck in my head at one point.) Folks on this side of the world may remember her appearance on one of william's music videos. She is also currently working on solo material. But this wouldn't be her first foray into judging. Already she's part of The X Factor, the British talent show responsible for catapulting Leona Lewis to bleeding love from across the world. She joined that show in 2008, replacing Sharon Osbourne, and was last year's winning judge when Alexandra Burke took home the top plum. Oh, and yes, The X Factor is created by Simon Cowell. Now here's where things get complicated: the report says Simon himself offered Cheryl the Idol judge slot. That would be odd because Simon reportedly threw his support behind Paula, even asking Fox executives that he wants her beside him when the new season begins in January. Then again, the key word here is "reportedly". So, do we choose to believe this? Maybe, maybe not. In the end, it's all... chemistry. Source Here

American Idol: "No Boundaries" Is No Fit, So Kris Kills It On Tour

And to think we all complained about that freaking "No Boundaries" song when it was dropped on unsuspecting us during the American Idol finale. Now, I don't think I'll be able to see any of the tour stops on this year's Idol summer tour, as much as I'd love to see some of them (wink wink). But I always thought the inclusion of "No Boundaries" on Kris Allen's set list would dampen everything--I saw the first set lists and it was very much a high-energy or high-popularity set, and then it'd all go pffft when that song goes in the end? Kris saw that, and perhaps to our delight, he yanked that song off his list. If you were at the Sacramento stop of the tour, you would've noticed that "No Boundaries"--this year's coronation song, co-written by Kara DioGuardi--was dropped in favor of the Killers' "All These Things That I've Done". The reasons are simple--but no, Kris isn't ditching the song because he hates it. He still loves it, in fact. "Obviously, adding the Killers song was a, you know, boost in the energy," he told MTV News. Makes sense. His set includes his much-loved covers of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" and Kanye West's "Heartless", plus his take on the Beatles' "Hey Jude". Critics have pointed out that "No Boundaries"--that gloopy song which, to be honest, is probably the gloopiest of all the coronation songs the show has launched on is--really did stick out like a sore thumb. So, Kris ditched it. And, turns out, Kris is the first Idol winner to distance himself from his coronation song during the tour. Somehow, he had to be a bit heartless... or, I can't resist the pun. Source Here

Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest Want Paula Abdul Back

When Paula Abdul's absence from the next season of 'American Idol' was hinted over the weekend, fellow judge Simon and host Ryan are quick to respond. Read more.

Idol's Brooke White Readies for Album Release

Hard to believe, but American Idol judge Randy Jackson - despite incessantly trumpeting his music-producer cred on the show - has never collaborated with an Idol alum - until now, that is. Jackson has lent his talents to Season 7 fifth-place finisher Brooke White, whose debut album, High Hopes & Heartbreak, is out Tuesday, July 21. The pair also cofounded the indie label on which it will be released. "I'm very appreciative of Randy taking on this project and to have him on my team," White tells "I don't know why he's working with me!" The collaboration was not planned. White and Jackson ran into each other at a guitar store months after her Idol run had ended and started chatting. "We talked for over an hour. He was so nice. My husband was there and he talked to him too," she says. "And then he said, 'If there's anything I can do to help you out, let me know,' which I just thought he was saying to be nice." But a dawg of his word, Jackson did help White out a few months later - unsolicited - to work on the breezy, folksy and "California-style" tunes on Heartbreak. Jackson, the "sounding board," hooked her up with producer Dave Cobb and gave her advice on every song. The duo, along with White's manager, Carl Stubner, launched June Baby Records (White's birthday is June 2) after the singer-songwriter concluded a major label wasn't the right fit for her. "It was the right decision and it felt good. Music is such a personal thing and now I'm attaching it to a business," she says. I take my art, my love, and I attach it to record sales and all this stuff so that people know that it is there. I'm excited for people to hear it, but of course you get nervous. I'd like to say I don't care what people think, but of course I do!" White hopes to launch a tour soon in support of the album, possibly with fellow Season 7 finalist Michael Johns. The two have recorded a song together, "Life Is Okay," and White is already looking to future duets - with another Idol grad. "I'd love to duet with Kris [Allen]," she says. "He can call me up any time. It'll be us and our guitars!" Source Here

American Idol: Is Paula Abdul Returning Or Not?

Now I'm confused. Or, well, I should've seen it coming, for it's Paula Abdul, after all. Over the weekend, Paula's manager, David Sonenberg, told the Los Angeles Times that the American Idol judge might not be returning to the show after all. "It does not appear that she's going to be back on Idol" were his words, to be specific. What gives? He claims Fremantle and 19 Entertainment have yet to give Abdul a new contract. He figures they should've given her something at this point, since auditions for the show's ninth season begin on August 6. Else, we wouldn't see her on that desk picking apart the wannabes from the real talent. "I find it under these circumstances particularly unusual; I think unnecessarily hurtful," Sonenberg, who's been managing Paula since last month, added. "I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that they haven't stepped up and said what they want to do." Now, this thing I find a bit odd. Paula previously said that she is optimistic about her return to Idol, going as far as saying that she's been invited back by the show's producers for the final stage of negotiations. So maybe there is a final stage, and Sonenberg must really be feeling bad for his talent, if his claims that nothing's happened are true. Or, many people will think that this is just a ruse to pressure the producers to get Paula a bigger deal. Remember, Ryan Seacrest got a $45-million three-year deal in recent weeks, and despite Simon Cowell's denials, that $144-million price tag still looms. (Also note that Ryan's bigger deal also involved him developing shows for 19 Entertainment, so it isn't exactly just a pay raise.) Sure, Paula might want a bigger paycheck from Idol, but... Well, what do we know? Nobody else is giving comments--no one from Fox, Fremantle or 19. If this continues, maybe we should get used to the idea of Paula not being on the judges' table after all--just the same speculation that was launched when Kara DioGuardi joined last year. Only this sounds more complicated. Source Here

'America's Got Talent' Lines Up Mariah Carey as Musical Guest

" America's Got Talent " viewers will be treated with a live performance from Mariah Carey, it has been confirmed. During August 5 result show of the NBC's reality TV series, Mariah will deliver her new single "Obsessed" which is taken from her August 25 release, "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel". Beside having a live appearance from Mariah Carey, "America's Got Talent" has also hosted a world premiere for her "Obsessed" music video on July 15 episode. The first episode of the competition show's season four was broadcast on June 23, giving a look at its auditions in Chicago, New York City and Seattle. Most recently during an audition aired on July 14, judges from the Nick Cannon-hosted TV show picked up at least eight people, one of whom is Kelli Glover who previously auditioned for " American Idol " season one, to the next round. "America's Got Talent" will continue its search for talented people on July 21 episode airing at 9/8c. Source & Video