Fremantle, 19 working overtime to produce shows
There won’t be a second edition of “American Juniors” this fall after all.
In May, Fox said it planned to do a shortened edition of the “American Idol” spinoff in November, filling up about six weeks before “Idol 3” returns in January. But now producers FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment have told Fox they won’t have time to do a second “AJ” in the fall; skein won’t return until next summer at the earliest.
Skeptics will note the “AJ” hasn’t exactly been a ratings smash this summer, though Fox execs assert the skein has performed well with teens. Nonetheless, both the net and producers said the decision to delay an “AJ2” came down to time.
The same teams produce “AJ” and “AI,” and they’ve been going nonstop since “AI2” bowed at the start of the year. What’s more, with Simon Cowell committed to the U.K.’s “Pop Idol 2,” producers had to move up the audition process for “Idol,” making it even more difficult to crank out another “AJ” so soon.
“We have only one team, and they can only do one thing at a time,” Fremantle’s Cecile Frot-Coutaz said. “And we’re not going to compromise ‘American Idol.’ ”
It’s also expected Fremantle and 19 will be busy churning some other “Idol” specials for the net.