‘American Idol’ Premieres First Season on This Day in 2002

by Brandi Stillings

One of the most popular TV shows in recent U.S. history, “American Idol” first aired 19 years ago today. The premiere took place on June 11, 2002 with host Ryan Seacrest. It has since produced many successful musicians.

Originally, the talent show was based on a British TV program called “Pop Idol.” Developed by entertainment executive Simon Fuller, it debuted in the United Kingdom in 2001. Then, the Fox network brought the “Idol” show in the U.S., after several other networks reportedly rejected it.

“American Idol” started with a panel of three judges. They included British music executive Simon Cowell, singer Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson, a musician and producer.

According to Britannica, the early auditions tended to focus on the amusing tone-deaf contestants who performed for the judges. As the field of candidates narrowed, the show became a showcase for talented contestants. In the contest’s final stages, the home audience votes on the winner.

In its first season, renowned singer and songwriter Kelly Clarkson won the show. Further, there are several other “American Idol” winners who each have had varying degrees of success.

Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, and David Cook are all just some of the names to come out of the contest.

In a rare instance, one contestant, who finished seventh in season three, went on to be a Hollywood star. Jennifer Hudson won an Academy Award for her supporting performance in Dreamgirls (2006). Adapted from a Broadway musical, the movie earned her a place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.

‘American Idol’ Star Kelly Clarkson Set to Take Ellen DeGeneres’ Show Timeslot

Popular musician Kelly Clarkson already has her very own talk show. However, now her TV show is supposed to take over Ellen’s daytime timeslot in 2022.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC has quietly made plans to replace DeGeneres’ time slot. They’re waiting for “The Ellen Degeneres Show” to finish its 19th season run. And they’ve settled on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” to fill that empty spot.

Currently, Kelly Clarkson’s talk show will coincide with Ellen DeGeneres’ show. At least, until season two is over. Two executives from NBC also spoke with THR about the decision, as Outsider previously covered. They believe that Clarkson has what it takes to be a worthy successor to DeGeneres in the time slot.

“These are remarkable achievements for a talk show in its second season. We look forward to Ellen DeGeneres’ 19th season. Paired with Kelly Clarkson for what is sure to be a blockbuster year. By 2022, The Kelly Clarkson Show will be the star of our daytime entertainment schedules and an asset to our early afternoon newscasts,” Valari Staab, president, NBCUniversal Local, told the outlet.

After 19 years, DeGeneres made the decision to end her talk show last month.