This is the conclusion of the article and I like that Fox is being realistic. So many of the older shows have seen a decline in viewership, but if they can keep a core group (flatline) that should be enough.But what exactly is possible with a fading hit in its 13th year? “As it continues to get older, you just kind of want it to age gracefully,” Mr. Reilly said. He noted that other aging reality shows like “Survivor” and “The Bachelor” had seen their ratings erode and managed to “flatten out to a level of audience that kind of sustains.”
“Our goal is to do a good job and keep millions of core fans who love ‘Idol,’ just keep them engaged and sort of flatten it out,” he said.
That doesn’t sound much like the cultural phenomenon the show once was. But Mr. Reilly said the time had come for realism. “We’ll be down again this season, just naturally because of the marketplace,” he said. “In a reasonable decline, I will be thrilled. Will ‘Idol” continue to be the centerpiece, the tent pole, of the network? Will it be on as many hours as it has been in the past?
“Perhaps not. We’ll see where we are after this season. I just want it to be a vibrant, alive franchise that people love — for as long as it can go.”