'American Idol' phenomenon continues to expand globally
By Wade Paulsen, 09/19/2003
Daily Variety (registration required) reports that the U.K. Pop Idol concept has been sold to two more countries: Croatia, to be broadcast on TV Nova, and Serbia and Montenegro (formerly known as Yugoslavia), to be broadcast on BK Telekom. With these latest additions, Idol is now running in 20 versions, including Fox's American Idol in the U.S. and Canada, and CTV's Canadian Idol in Canada.
Russia's version of Idol, Narodny Artiste, which airs on Channel Rossiya, debuted on Sept. 5. Other editions of Idol include, among others, the pan-Arab version, which featured finalists from seven different Arab countries and was won by a Jordanian woman, and national versions in Denmark, Portugal, Kazakstan, Iceland, Finland, South Africa, Australia and Poland.
With so many Idols, it's easy to see why Idol creator Simon Fuller plans to hold a World Idol competition. However, we think that's easier to say than do -- especially since only a few Idols are conducted in English (U.K., U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia), while the others take place in languages ranging from Russian to Serbo-Croatian to Arabic. Forgive our doubts, but we think it would be a stretch to hold a polyglot Idol.