The faltering economy has now claimed CTV's Canadian Idol, a former competition-crushing ratings juggernaut that the network says will not be produced in 2009.
a less-than-idyllic "economic climate," CTV said last night the amateur
singing showcase will take a "rest" for the broadcast year.
Judge Zack Werner said he found out Monday that the former phenomenon is being put on hiatus.
were told that it's `resting,'" he said. "You can call that whatever
you want. There was no official definition given to me of what the word
Werner said that despite the show's popularity he was always under the impression that its future was uncertain.
always been led to believe by the powers that be that the show was
always, despite its purported popularity, sink or swim, borderline.
Would it be renewed? It was always a desperation thing."
Werner said Canadian Idol
was the country's only real showcase of young music talent, and that it
gave Canadians something to aspire to, teaching them that "if you hope
and you dream and you try, you can do something more with your life,
whether it's become a doctor or a basketball player."
Fans and former contestants were shocked and disappointed yesterday, as the news spread via Facebook and the Internet.
superfan Katie Willoughby, 49, saw her first taping, at John Bassett
Theatre at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, in 2004 and has been to
almost every one since.
"Canadian Idol gives Canadian
artists a great forum to be discovered," she said in an interview. "I'm
sad because I've met a lot of great friends through Canadian Idol, and disappointed too. Hopefully it's just a hiatus."
A 15-year-old fan, who said she had long dreamed of auditioning, posted to a Facebook group
called "A Protest to Save Canadian Idol": "This is the most
disappointing thing to ever happen to me. My heart is broken in two and
I will be majorly upset about this long through Christmas."
Mikey Bustos was the 7th runner up in Canadian Idol's
first season. He has since opened for the Pussycat Dolls and Christina
Aguilera, and is releasing his first full-length album later this
"I could go on and on about how great of a start it was
for me as an entry-level artist," Bustos said, adding it helped him
make contacts in the industry and build a fan base.
Tyler Lewis came in third place in season four, and says the show helped launch his music career.
"I don't know about the ratings or whatever but as far as I'm concerned it's one of the most popular shows in Canada," he said.
Amberly Thiessen, 20, was a top 10 contestant in the 2008 season and is currently recording an album in New York City.
was a great opportunity and it's too bad that other people won't be
able to take part," she said. "We got great exposure and training that
can take years to get otherwise. It definitely opened some doors."
said he and the other judges knew the show was expensive to produce and
that Canadian shows in general are not particularly profitable.
"This means a lot to me and I'm heartbroken it's not going on," Werner said.
said he had been hoping to have his contract renewed and to begin
working on season seven in February. Instead he will continue touring
with his band Haymaker and pursuing radio and TV opportunities.
He also said that he and the other judges are talking about the possibility of working together in the future.
CTV still retains its Idol licence, and says it has every expectation of bringing the crooner competition back the following season.
is the network's second most-watched Canadian-originated show in the
entire country – right behind CTV's other adopted franchise, So You Think You Can Dance Canada.
even with impressive ratings that ranged between 1 and 1.5 million
viewers in the final weeks of its sixth season in September, that is
still roughly half the Canadian audience for its sister sing-a-thon, American Idol. In earlier years, Canadian Idol drew more than 2 million viewers per outing.
The American show, also cutting costs this year by cancelling its annual American Idol Gives Back fundraiser, returns for its eighth season Jan. 13.
[url=http://www.thestar.com/article/555154#Comments] Canadian Idol canceled for 2009[/url]