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While the stars who occupy the judges' table next season won't have quite the juice of, say, Supreme Court justices, nor is the gravity of filling vacancies at the same level, the pressure on "Idol" producers is enormous to pick the right people.
As a financial gold mine and cultural rallying point, "Idol" can hardly be overstated. Now the challenge looms to reinvent and refresh the show whose ninth-season finale drew nearly 5 million viewers less than the year before. (Not that 24.2 million viewers is chicken feed.)
Key to the future dominance of "Idol" is its panel of judges and the chemistry they share. For years, the chemistry was perfect among Cowell, Jackson and Abdul.
Can the "Idol" producers repeat that miracle next season? Or, in trying to fix the show, will they end up breaking it?
Fox is owned by News Corp.
Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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