E! Online reports that, as we speculated earlier this week, Fox has dropped American Juniors from its fall 2003 schedule.

Officially, the reason given for axing Juniors is that the show's producer, Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment, is too busy to prepare the show's abbreviated six episode run starting on Oct. 28. Unofficially, the reason is evident in the ratings -- the show debuted successfully but then sagged in the ratings each week, pulling in less than half of its premier audience for its finale. The potential replacement receiving the most speculation is the reality series The Simple Life, which Fox delayed "until October" back in July, when Juniors ratings problems became apparent.

The flop of American Juniors, coupled with the flop of From Justin to Kelly, the movie starring the final two from the first season of Idol, has established that the Idol brand has limits. Whether these flops will affect the Idol TV franchise remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, the American Juniors compilation CD Kids in America is still scheduled for release September 9, and the "American Juniors" group CD, featuring "One Step Closer", is planned for release prior to year-end. We think the compilation CD is more likely to join Justin Guarini's debut album in the markdown bins than to join Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken near the top of the charts ... but we still think that there is enough talent in the "American Juniors" group to make it a success. Time will tell.