ABC’s American Idol reboot is bombing in the ratings and executives are sure about where to place the blame: host Ryan Seacrest. As producers scramble to try and figure out exactly what they are doing wrong, Seacrest has become the scapegoat as NBC’s rival show The Voice continues to crush it in the ratings game. Will Idol be able to fix its problems before it becomes an incredibly expensive one-season embarrassment?
Radar Online is reporting that Seacrest doesn’t believe Idol’s troubles are his fault.
“Ryan is flipping out right now, and he thinks that it is ridiculous that they are trying to say that it’s his fault the ratings are tanking,” reveals an insider.
The 43-year-old host is currently the target of recent sexual harassment claims from his former E! personal stylist Suzy Hardy. Last month, Hardy accused Seacrest of sexually harassing her for six years, but Seacrest has vehemently denied the allegations.
Hardy is accusing Seacrest of grinding his erect penis against her while only wearing underwear, grabbing her vagina, and slapping her bottom so hard that it resulted in welts.
The original run of American Idol made Seacrest a superstar, but fans have noticed that in the reboot his role appears to be greatly reduced and he is taking a backseat to judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.
ABC insiders say the network is not hiding Seacrest and they have not edited episodes to cut his airtime. Seacrest was busy with other projects while they shot the audition rounds, but the network says he is hosting as scheduled and will have a more prominent role when the live episodes begin next month.
The second Sunday edition of Idol that aired this past week drew 7.7 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among the key adults 18-49 demographic. That is down 26 percent and 24 percent from the show’s premiere the week before.
On Monday night, The Voice drew 10.7 million viewers while Idol picked up 7.7 million viewers, an eleven percent drop from the previous week.
In addition to the problems with Seacrest, Perry has also come under fire for seemingly using the show as a dating opportunity. Fans have commented on Twitter that there is nothing cute about Perry – who signed on this year for $25 million – being so inappropriate with the male contestants, and they say she needs to tone it down.
During the show’s premiere, she tricked an unsuspecting male contestant into kissing her on the lips, and she often teases the boys with sexual innuendo and playful comments.
For many, her actions seem out of place in the current #metoo era, with many believing that if she were a man and exhibiting this behavior, it would be unacceptable.
New episodes of American Idol, starring Ryan Seacrest and Katy Perry, air Sunday and Monday nights on ABC.