American Idol (2002– )
"American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" (original title)

TV Series  |  TV-PG  |   |  Game-Show, Music, Reality-TV
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Twelve finalists and/or future singers (six men and six women) who were selected from America, compete in a talent contest in which they were asked to sing any song they like on this "Star ... See full summary »


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Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 40 wins & 124 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
Mark Thompson ...
 Announcer (492 episodes, 2002-2015)
 Himself - Host (471 episodes, 2002-2015)
 Himself - Judge / ... (433 episodes, 2002-2015)
 Himself - Judge / ... (317 episodes, 2002-2010)
 Herself - Judge / ... (277 episodes, 2002-2015)


Twelve finalists and/or future singers (six men and six women) who were selected from America, compete in a talent contest in which they were asked to sing any song they like on this "Star Search" clone. After each song that was sung, the judges, Abdul, Jackson and Cowell, then critique that finalist's chosen song. After each show's ending, America must vote for a finalist to whom they really think their performance is good using this AT&T (now Cingular Wireless) or any other cellular phone to cast votes with. Once the votes are locked in, the judges and America decides who has the most and the least amount of votes, and the contestant with the least amount of votes is eliminated, and it goes on each week's show until the winner is crowned as "American Idol," where he/she wins a recording contract worth up to $1,000,000. The rest of the other finalists to whom they have been voted off before (the runner-up) also get recording contracts, too. Written by Gary Richard Collins II (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Dare to Dream. See more »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Idol  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Season 5 was the first season to use an actual song (Daniel Powter's "Bad Day") for an eliminated contestant's montage. All the earlier seasons were instrumental. See more »


[says this catchphrase everytime before the intro credits begin]
Ryan Seacrest: This... is "American Idol"!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Production will have in place weekly monitoring procedures designed to prevent individuals from unfairly influencing the outcome of the voting by generating significant blocks of votes using technical enhancements. The producers reserve the right to remove any identified "power dialing" votes. See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.97 (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Gives "Reality" TV a whole new meaning.
19 February 2004 | by (Nanaimo BC) – See all my reviews

If it weren't for Simon Cowell, I have to wonder how many people would watch this show. I admit this says something of my character, but he's the reason I watch this show. His blunt matter of fact, tell-it-like-is approach to telling the unvarnished truth to the no-talent wannabes who audition is something I find very refreshing. Especially when their egos and attitudes are directly proportional to the extent that they suck -- meaning the more they suck, the more ego and attitude they tend to have. (Not with all, but certainly a lot of them) Then there are others who don't have attitude and are devastated by criticism and can be seen in tears later, and even if they were bad I feel a little sorry for them. But that's simply the reality, of the music business and if these kids can't handle it, then they shouldn't be trying to forge a career as a musical artist.

That's reality, and Simon gives them this much needed reality check. It's reality TV in every sense of the word.

49 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
I am done with American Idol. TheWalkingViking
Congratulations Nick JuanKnightstand
The best winner in years!! Abalister
Why didn't Simon, Paula and Randy perform together on stage? JuanKnightstand
Clark took a backseat with a quickness JuanKnightstand
The audience seems um, so excited to know who the winner is... JuanKnightstand
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