And the winner is… “American Idol.”
The Television Academy has crowned the long-running Fox singing competition show with its annual Governors Award, which honors exceptional achievement in the television arts and sciences.
“‘American Idol’ wasn’t just a hit show. With its successful integration of social media, dominance of the pop-culture conversation and legions of imitators, it changed television in a profound way,” said Governors Award selection committee chair Michael Levine. “You could meaningfully divide the history of television into ‘before American Idol’ and ‘after American Idol’.”
Previous recipients of the Governors Award, which debuted in 1978, include A+E Networks, William S. Paley, Hallmark Cards, “Masterpiece Theater,” Comic Relief, the ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC networks for” America: A Tribute To Heroes,” and the “It Gets Better” Project.
“American Idol,” which ran for 15 seasons from June 2002 on April 2016, received 59 Emmy nominations and won eight Emmys. It was created by Simon Fuller, and produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment.
During its height, “American Idol” drew ratings of 30 million viewers. Its series finale in April drew 11 million viewers and saw the return of the original judges, including Simon Cowell, as well as a lineup of famous alums. The show is credited with launching the careers of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, among others.