Like the Oscars and the Super Bowl, next month’s second season finale of Fox’s “American Idol” is shaping up to be the sort of mega-event that causes competing nets to seek cover.
“It’s going to be a monster,” one rival webhead says. Industry observers expect the two-hour “Idol” finale — airing Wednesday, May 21 from 8-10 p.m. — to snag one of the biggest audiences of the May sweeps, if not the season.
No surprise, then, that ABC has quietly opted against skedding the season-ender of its reality hit “The Bachelor” against “Idol’s” climax.
Instead, net now plans to wrap the skein Sunday, May 18. Its main competish: part one of the controversial CBS mini “Hitler.”
ABC’s not the only net retreating: NBC has moved up the season finale of “The West Wing” by a week, slotting an original “Law & Order” episode against “Idol.” The WB’s big Wednesday shows, “Dawson’s Creek” and “Angel,” will also wrap earlier in the month.
An Alphabet rep admits the “Bachelor” shift is, in part, a reaction to “Idol’s” expected dominance. But it also has some strategic value, she says: By airing the “Bachelor” finale on a Sunday, ABC can sneak in a “Bachelor: Where are They Now” special on the final Wednesday of sweeps.
CBS, however, refuses to be intimidated by Fox’s singing youngsters. Net is sticking to its long-planned broadcast of the Academy of Country Music Awards.