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Is 'American Idol' vulnerable? Well...?

New "American Idol" judges Steven Tyler, second from

New "American Idol" judges Steven Tyler, second from right, and Jennifer Lopez, second from left, appear with returning judge Randy Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest. (Sept. 22, 2010) (Credit: Fox)

Can any show beat "American Idol?"

It's never happened, in nearly 10 years - not once, at all, ever. Even if "Dancing with the Stars" -- one or two times -- pulled close, and may have even beat "AI" in the demo.

"American Idol" is the great white shark of American television - or maybe a better analogy is Pac Man - consuming rival after rival.

Below I've posted an In Memoriam list of the brave and valiant, or maybe foolish - who came, and were conquered. It's a long list. Be prepared to scroll. I've done this for a couple of reasons. First, NBC has ordered a Dutch hit - as first reported by the Live Feed yesterday - entitled "The Voice of America." The show's not quite a dead ringer for "Idol," but it may be a dead-ringer for "The X Factor," which also arrives on Fox next fall.

Think...judges. Think...singers. Think...elimination.

NBC obviously feels good about the success of "The Sing-Off" and so it should. I'll bet right now that Monday's finale easily exceeds 10 million viewers. That could well be the single biggest number on NBC all season -- not counting football, of course.

Will "The Voice of America" go up against "Idol?" Who knows - but it's certainly likely, especially if NBC decides to break up the hugely expensive all-Thursday comedy block this winter when "Idol" starts to roll up numbers again. ("Idol," as you know, is moving to Wednesdays and Thursdays next season.)

Obviously Fox thinks "Idol" needs to be shaken out of its complacency, and diminished numbers. Obviously, Fox wanted to get "Idol" out of the line of fire of "Dancing with the Stars," which had a huge 11th season. And if  "DWTS" somehow lands another Palin (is Willow too young? Can Todd do the tango?) it will have a huge 12th. Obviously, the other networks think there may finally be some vulnerability here.

Obviously.

But beware: Any network that thinks "Idol" is takeable must first consult the list below. It's a sobering reminder of the Pac Man in their midst.

I've compiled the RIP list for ABC, NBC and CBS efforts below. Even at this length,
it's not a complete one, and I haven't even begun to compile the WB's, UPN's, or CW's efforts. So take a deep breath...and a long swig of coffee....


ABC

8 Simple Rules

According to Jim

Life with Bonnie

The Bachelor

The Bachelorette

Daybreak

Less than Perfect

Lost at Home

Less than Perfect

The Drew Carey Show

It's all Relative

Less than Perfect

I'm With Her

George Lopez

Rodney

Alias

Dancing with the Stars

Commander in Chief

Hope and Faith

Sons and Daughters

Freddie

Help Me Help You

Big Day

Primetime Live

Show Me the Money

Knights of Prosperity

In Case of Emergency

Notes From the Underbelly

The Next Best Thing

The Great American Dream Vote

Cavemen

Carpoolers

Just for Laughs

Wipeout

Private Practice

Super Nanny

Homeland Security

Scrubs

Better off Ted

The Goode Family

V

Lost

Hank

The Middle

Modern Family


CBS

Century City

The Gaurdian

The Stones

Becker

King of Queens

Clubhouse

Amazing Grace

Center of the Universe

NCIS

The Amazing Race

The Unit

Criminal Minds

Shark

The Mentalist


NBC

Just Shoot me

Let's Make a Deal

Dog Eat Dog

AUSA

Watching Ellie

Hidden Hills

Frasier

Whoopi

Happy Family

Good Morning Miami

The Tracy Morgan Show

The Apprentice

Committed

The Office

The Biggest Loser

The Contender

Scrubs

The West Wing

Revelations

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart

Law and Order

E-Ring

Fear Factor

My Name is Earl

The Last Comic Standing

Friday Night Lights

Identity

Dateline NBC

Medium

Crossing Jordan

The Biggest Loser: Couples

Life

Deal or No Deal

The Great American Sing-off

 

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