Fifteen TV shows that shaped the decade

Updated: 2009-12-23 11:45
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Fifteen TV shows that shaped the decade

 1. “American Idol” (2002 - present)

When “American Idol” premiered on FOX on June 11, 2002, no one knew it would become the phenomenon it did. A snarky British judge, a music industry insider (no one in the mainstream had heard of before) and a once super famous 80’s pop star all came together to critique wanna-be singers and America got to vote for their favorites and ultimately choose the winner. It was a simple format, but the combination of Simon Cowell’s snide and often times rude remarks (“that was absolutely dreadful!”), Paula Abdul’s loopy antics, seeing bad singers make fools of themselves during the audition rounds and watching the contestant’s journeys from regular kids to stars seemed to capture America’s hearts. Based on the British program “Pop Idol,” “American Idol” was the first show to come along that families could watch together. It stands as one of the highest rated television shows in history. While not every winner or past contestant has burned up the charts with their post-show musical offerings it did launch immensely successful careers for winners Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson. – Laura Saltman

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