TVLine Items: Idol Eying Harry Connick Jr., Will Ferrell's IFC Comedy Expands Its Cast and More!

American Idol Judge Harry Connick JrAnd the American Idol shake-up buzz continues…

Standards crooner Harry Connick Jr. has been approached about joining the Fox competition series as a judge next season, E! News reports.

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“The [producers] kinda wanted to know if I would be interested in it,” Connick told the cable program after performing on Idol‘s results show Thursday. “It’s a fun show. It’s been talked about before, [so] who knows what’ll happen in the future… What I’ve done thus far on the show has been really fun, so I’ve had a great time.”

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well…

Will Ferrell‘s upcoming IFC miniseries The Spoils Of Babylon is rounding out its cast. Big-screen star Tobey Maguire, SNL vet Kristen Wiig and Sixth Sense spookster Haley Joel Osment have joined the project, per Deadline. Babylon is based on the fictional best-selling novel by author Eric Jonrosh (Ferrell), which chronicles the dramatic lives of the wealthy Morehouse family.

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• Bethenny Frankel’s syndicated talk show Bethenny will officially launch on Sept. 9.

• A&E has given the green light to Modern Dads, an eight-episode docu-series following four stay-at-home fathers in Austin, Texas.

• Cougar Town writer Blake McCormick will replace Ric Swartzlander as showrunner of the TBS comedy in its fifth season, per Deadline.

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32 Comments
  1. lyn says:

    I wouldn’t mind HCJr. as a judge. I’d be happy with Babyface, Queen Latifah, Jon Bon Jovi, Cher, Olivia Newton John, Adam Lambert, Shania Twain. Any combination of these would be great. The only current judge I like is KU.

    • Cheryl says:

      I much prefer anyone but Randy Jackson. He is one of the most annoying people on TV and he just isn’t judge material. How on earth did anyone think he was qualified to give any kind of singing critique when I don’t think he truly understands the technical side of singing. And please, please, please 3 judges…not 4. That is way too many.

  2. DreamRose311 says:

    If not a judge, then at least a mentor to come in more than just one week a year. I about stood up and cheered when he asked Amber what My Funny Valentine was about, I’ve been saying for weeks that she never looks like she knows what she’s singing, despite having such a great voice, and I was getting soo annoyed that the judges would never say something to her about it. Pleeassee let Harry Connick Jr become more a part of Idol

    • Cheryl says:

      My thoughts exactly!!

      • Tom22 says:

        Me too. Ideally he’d come the first, week of finalists then maybe again with 6 I’m not sure if it .

        Will.i.am actually had a lot to say in the clips… even if people only remember the stupid ones.. we didn’t see them all. Coaching the “get” in gotta Get up every morning was a critical thing to make that song mean more that a passing butterfly… it wasn’t just a word that needed to be punched it was also the note that needed to be punched. I’m sure they have great vocal coaches but “give a man a hammer” and they’re thinking more about pitch and breathing . I’d imagine commercially sucessful artists don’t only have a special sense for the “hook” of a song but they’ve got the stature to make more an impact to get through to a musicians head.

        He seemed to have a personal rapport with Jimmy which probably was very very important in terms of bridging thoughts and communication etc.. Jimmy isn’t a singer…might put things differently.

    • Mitzermoo says:

      I agree. He’s smart – which Randy, Mariah and Nikki are not. He’ll get burned out in a hurry if any ot those three remain on the judges panel. Nikki and Mariah have ruined the show this year. I’m surprised the contestants aren’t complaining that they are not getting a fair shake!

  3. Sam says:

    I’m sorry, but I’ve been a devoted Idoloonie for 9 years and I’m tired. I really think I’m giving up after this year. There’s no lack for great television lately (especially true this week, given the renewals of Veep, Rectify, and Orphan Black), and spending three hours a week on being frustrated is becoming an issue. AI will always be in my heart, but the excitement ended for me when Skylar Laine was booted in favor of the Four Snores.

  4. J. Norman says:

    One thing Idol can do next season is simply realize that Idol is a show watched by primarily younger females. That means that they (the girls) are going to be far more inclined to vote for a guy.

    I know Idol was unhappy for the past 2-3 seasons about the fact that men (boys) were winning the show. Somewhere along the line they decided that this was not politically correct and tried to rectify the situation. They were unsuccessful last year and succeeded this year in getting a female winner by stacking the deck in favor of the ladies.

    Well, we at least have some evidence that this was penny wise and dollar foolish.

    If your predominate audience is interested in one thing and you decide to force another, then you have a formula for trouble – if not disaster.

    Can Idol recover? I think they can, but they have to do 2 things.

    1) They need to tweek the judges. This combination has simply not worked.

    2) They have to let the chips (votes) fall where they are destined to fall. If that means the ladies vote in another male winner .. THEN SO BE IT!!

    • J. Norman says:

      Adding one more suggestion to my own post above.

      -The producers / show runners can stop deciding who they want to pimp before any auditions are even aired.

      Enough of the – tug at the heartstrings – backstories they want to ram down our throats.
      Just focus more on talented auditionees at the start of the season.

      That doesn’t mean no turkeys being presented. Just a lesser ratio and more focus on contestants who are potentially good.

    • Name That Tune says:

      JN the show is watched by OLDER females.
      It has lost viewers every year since season 7. That is the year the WGWG started winning.
      The real problem is that the show is OLD. 12 seasons is ancient in TV years. Viewing habits have changed. It’s rare to have a show generate more than 15 million viewers anymore. For example, I rarely watch a broadcast when it’s actually aired. I catch most of the shows I watch long after it’s aired -sometimes on Netflix, sometimes on Hulu. I saw the bulk of Idol this week on my cell phone about 10 minutes after it aired on the East Coast (which is about 2 hours before it airs locally). So I am not watching TV the traditional Nielsen way of the 90s or ev. 2007, when Idol was at its peak.

      • Marcie says:

        You’re assuming because the songs are old that the viewers are old, but let me tell you, I’m pretty old and I’m not interested in watching Idol. I just like to read what’s going on about it online, kind of like meta-show for me.

      • teatime says:

        The show has been losing viewers every season since season 5. Nothing on TV is getting anything near 35 million viewers anymore. So that is not too surprising. This is the year the the ratings really tanked. Early in the season it hit its lowest ratings ever. It has continued to lose ratings almost every week since.
        The biggest issue seems to be that the producers have no idea what the issues are how to fix them.
        They have too many ballad singers and too many judges. Neither is a good thing.
        They brought on Nikki to bring in a younger crowd, but then they cut almost all her favorite contestants by the time voting started. They left Charlie but then she threw him under the bus herself because it turned out she only wanted him to be different in the way she liked. So they ended up with no unpredictable contestants.
        The hired Mariah to have a diva on the panel and to have someone tto always be nice. But then they ended up with 4 judges and 2 females and way too much talking after every single song.
        They kept Randy for consistency but the problem is he is not just consistent. He is completely uninteresting in his comments and unoriginal from year to year.
        One thing Idol has always excelled at is building a loyal and invested fan base. Part of how they did that was thru the early voting rounds where the fans settled in on their early favorites and voted for them for hours. This year they completely dropped that section out. Instead they cut the field down to 20 for us then gave us just one week to cut that down to the top 10. It is like someone said, “this has always worked well, so lets completely get rid of it this year.”

        My guess is there are too many people making the decisions. The result was uninspired compromises that did nothing to increase the entertainment value. My fear is they will continue in the same direction next year. They will keep everything that did not work out well and will get rid of what things are not a problem.

  5. ollie says:

    is cougar town turning into the walking dead.with showrunners turnover? I know bill left to do other projects but is still part of it in some way. just glad tbs renewed it.

  6. EJ says:

    Idol should just get rid of Randy Jackson. FINALLY. PERIOD.

  7. Chris says:

    I think he’d make a fantastic judge! I would also love to see Mary J. Blige as a judge too… one can dream. Either way I hope they get rid of Randy and a couple of other current judges.

  8. Nat says:

    YES. PLEASE. Harry Connick Jr had the most astute and helpful comments this week. He should be a permanent fixture.

    • The Beach says:

      I doubt it will ever happen because I don’t think Uncle NIgel can “control” Harry Connick, Jr.

  9. Put American Idol out of its misery. It has lost its way. It’s not fun anymore. It’s not real.

  10. jake says:

    Horrible choice — just from his mentoring from this past week — he would lead everyone to under sing and thus bring the show down even further. Keep Randy for consistency and clean house, as much as I like Nikki — she seems to be turning off a lot of viewers.

  11. Guitar Blue says:

    Most teens and tweens that I know, either don’t watch Idol at all, or only watch occasionaly, if nothing else special is going on. One of the reasons is that the music is mostly centered on old ballads or soft rock from the 60’s,70’s, 80’s, a little 90’s etc. …..

    This was their parents and grandparents music, and they have plenty of options in other current music that fits their energy, connective lifestyle, activities, athletics, youth groups, YouTube, and hangin’ out with friends that does not include watching serial commercials with a few old ballads interlaced. I can appreciate the show and songs, but mostly -the younger crowd does not.

    It’s even less interesting for some of the younger girls that do watch a little this year, because they don’t have any cool guys that have caught their interest. I like all of the girls on Idol this year, but I’m a guy and enjoy a good female singer.

    I have seen some surveys — more than one, that indicate the average viewer is between 35 and 65 years of age. Thus the older songbooks reflect what the average viewer may enjoy, or be familiar with. Idol sticks with that formula year after year, with a couple current songs here and there that the contestants pick.

    From what I have seen from the younger groups that I work with, this formula and the Celebrity Judges, are not a big deal at all, to most 14 to 20 something year olds, Idol producers like to pack the live audience with young girls up-front, to give the image that it’s a young girls dream show, which it is not, on a national scale.

  12. efe says:

    I think the new judges should be Harry, Adam Lambert & Stevie Nicks. Harry & Adam could be the ones that are tough. Stevie can be the nice one but you know she’d still be much better than Paula, Steven, Ellen & Mariah (aka the nice ones).

  13. MLK Cringed says:

    HC would be a fine representative of covert racism.

    • Caro says:

      What are you talking about? HC is not racist and not everything is about race! Or are you implying that Idol is racist which is absurd given that the fact that Randy is the longest sitting judge!

  14. Caro says:

    The fans have been saying Harry Connick would make a good judge for the last three or four years – why don’t the networks ever listen to the fans? Note to networks, pay attention to the fans not the Nielsons!

  15. Sort of a fan says:

    First of all, as for the debate on viewers, it is in fact older women. I’ve been part of this conversation many a time. I’m 25 myself and whenever I talk Idol with someone I’m almost always the youngest one in the conversation. I have to admit, I didn’t even know HCJ was a singer before seeing him on Idol (I think I had seen him acting on maybe one movie before that, otherwise I wouldn’t have been familiar with him at all. Idol has introduced be to quite a bit of singers, come to think of it, but I digress) but he would make a great judge based one what I’ve seen. He was a great mentor, anyway. Just pleeaase let him replace Randy and not Keith. I’m really ready for Randy to GO!

  16. Idol is in need of judges that can articulate !

    Harry Connick Jr. , intelligent , seasoned , and able to give constructive insights, so YES !

    Get rid of Randy Jackson,
    Get rid of Nicki Minaj

    and get rid of
    Keith Urban, & Mariah Carey if they are unwilling to speak to singing technique, and be more detailed with their input.

    Plus ,
    Get producers that look at getting talent on the show, and make back stories a less important part of the casting.

  17. triggerpointmovie says:

    Harry might be a good judge/mentor, but his name won’t excite people to come back to AI. Michael Buble’ would be a better choice.

  18. Jimmy says:

    I’m really happy that Randy Jackson is leaving IDOL. His critiques have been awful, and as entertaining as his “yo’s!” and “dawg’s!” were for the first few seasons (back when Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul were gracing our screens), they’ve gotten old and redundant now. Also, Mariah Carey isn’t as good as I thought she’d be, and, as annoying and crazy as Nicki Minaj is, she’s been a great judge, as has Keith Urban. Next season, I think they should go back to 3 judges (4 is way too many), and hire someone like Adam Lambert (seeing him on Thursday’s finale was awesome!), Madonna, Shania Twain, or Jon Bon Jovi, However, IDOL already has a country star on the judges panel, so maybe not Shania Twain, but any other of the aforementioned stars would be great!

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