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American Idol 

American Idol: The Search for a Superstar (original title)
0:31 | Trailer
Twelve American finalists (six men and six women) compete in a singing contest.


Simon Fuller
4,506 ( 90)


Season 19 Premiere

Most Recent Episode

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The top 5 perform a song that celebrates their induction into the top 5, and a previously performed song; America's vote determines the winner; special performances from music legends, ...

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Sunday, May 10, 2020



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Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 46 wins & 154 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Ryan Seacrest ...  Self - Host / ... 565 episodes, 2002-2020
Mark Thompson ...  Announcer / ... 493 episodes, 2002-2015
Randy Jackson ...  Self - Judge / ... 474 episodes, 2002-2016
Simon Cowell ...  Self - Judge / ... 358 episodes, 2002-2016
Paula Abdul ...  Self - Judge / ... 318 episodes, 2002-2016


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 (gcollinsii@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The network ABC revived the show for the 2017-2018 season. See more »


The judges are inconsistent on which contestants they allow to sing one song or multiple songs. 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 »


Spoofed in Saturday Night Live: Drew Barrymore/Lily Allen (2007) See more »

User Reviews

I enjoy it, for the most part.
24 February 2005 | by TLGeerSee all my reviews

This is the first year (2005)that I've watched American Idol. I surprised myself and enjoyed it. It provides a look into the process and reasons for signing a person to a contract. The only thing that I don't like is the final weeks and how they let people know who has not made the cut. I find it cruel and unnecessary. I also find that Simon Crowell's comments are pretty accurate about the contestants. I used to watch Star Search, with Ed McMahon, and thought that was great, but this is much more interesting. I would like to see the handling of cutting contestants changed. I don't find this to be a popularity contest at all. I also think that if these people cannot take the criticism that is handed to them they should not be in the entertainment business.

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Release Date:

11 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Idol See more »

Filming Locations:

Asheville, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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