Can American Idol Survive Much Longer?

It is common knowledge by now that there have been extensive changes in the cast of American Idol. Paula Abdul was already gone by the start of the last season, and replaced by Ellen Degeneres. It was also known that Simon Cowell would be leaving at the end of season 9. Kara DioGuardi had been introduced from Season 8, but now she won't be there in Season 10. Ellen Degeneres also won't be around on the show anymore. In fact, of the judges, Randy Jackson will be the only one who is not new on the panel.

With such drastic changes, can the show survive? Or is it a case, that only by such drastic changes does the show have any chance for continuity?

Simon Cowell no doubt was a key character on the show. I wrote about this before. (see the importance of Simon Cowell. You can also read theories about the american idol judges) Is American Idol a show worth watching without Cowell? His presence no doubt will be missed, and time will tell whether the show is still viable. Perhaps with the extensive changes in the cast, there will now be enough novelty to hold some interest. Maybe this is better than if it was just a matter of replacing Cowell. This way, the burden doesn't fall on any one person to play the part of Cowell, or to compensate for his departure.

Having said that, let us not forget that the show's ratings were already falling in the last season. The change in judging panel may cause them to plumet further, or it could be the show's salvation.

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