Can Eurovision Out-Fox American Idol?

Having drooled over Fox whipping the country into a frenzy with “American Idol,” execs from other TV networks have reportedly trawled Europe and decided that a sort of American “Eurovision Song Contest” could be a worthy ratings rival.

Millions of Europeans will be anything but surprised to hear U.S. TV execs are “desperate” to find a show to challenge Fox’s blockbuster, particularly in light of their intended target.

NBC has reportedly already made a deal with the European Broadcasting Union to produce a show that will be like a state-by-state Eurovision.

In May, the final of “American Idol” attracted 63 million votes, more than any U.S. president has ever polled.

If it’s to work on Eurovision lines, each state would pick an act to represent it in a competition that would be dragged on for weeks longer than the annual Saturday night primetime slot the original gets each May.

Each state might be expected to choose artists and genres that reflect its musical heritage.

Tactical voting could come into play, with the with Midwestern states favouring each other over New York or Los Angeles in the same way that nobody votes for the United Kingdom in Eurovision, The Times suggested

“People are looking at ‘American Idol’ and saying, ‘How can I get a piece of that?’ Eurovision is the granddaddy of all talent shows and the Super Bowl of singing,” enthused Reveille president Ben Silverman, whose company is expected to produce the show for the NBC network.

Where the U.S. plan would seem to vary from the Euro blueprint, according to Silverman’s vision, it’s being pitched as “a quality show that has its own unique flavor” and one that will end up being taken seriously.

– John Gammon