Ratings-challenged “American Idol” announced it would for the first time air live simulcasts nationwide of the remaining three weeks of season 16 of the music performance reality show. Previous telecasts have been tape-delayed for Westcoast audiences.
The series, which began airing for the first time in March on ABC after its original run (through 2016) on Fox, is down to 14 contestants. Celebrity judges this season include Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie.
Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, revamped “Idol” has struggled against rival reality show, “The Voice” on NBC, whose first-time celebrity judge Kelly Clarkson was the original “Idol” winner on the show’s inaugural 2002 season.
Despite reportedly luring Perry to “Idol” with a $25 million payday, the show has trailed “The Voice” in TV viewers for the past five weeks. Indeed, “Idol” ratings last week dropped to an all-time low among the coveted 18-49 demographic.
Media reports suggest Perry’s antics on the show, which include kissing an unsuspecting male contestant and pulling a strand of hair from 19-year-old long-haired contestant Cade Foehner on the April 22 show, are politically incorrect in the #MeToo era.