12 June 2013 7:09 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Simon Cowell has meted out his share of criticism as a judge of musical talent. So hopefully he can endure some leveled at him in hastening the descent of “American Idol,” whose ratings decline — triggering changes in front of and behind the camera — can be traced directly to the acerbic Brit.

After a titanic run that left everyone feeling understandably smug, “Idol’s” ratings have drifted downward faster than anyone anticipated. Recent moves have included the departure of longtime Fox reality kingpin Mike Darnell (with denials “Idol” in any way precipitated the decision), the appointment of David Hill to oversee Fox’s music competitions and the departure of “Idol’s” longtime producers.

See Also: Can David Hill Save ‘Idol’ and ‘X Factor’ for Fox?

One doesn’t need to dig too deep, however, to see the roots of the problem, which began when Cowell cornered Fox by announcing plans to »


- Brian Lowry

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