The Watchman: 'Idol' Chatter, Life & Death, Indy Spirit

It only took 15 seasons, but The Watchman is finally seeing firsthand what we’ve long heard about American Idol—how the whole family can enjoy it together. The offspring are finally old enough to stay up for at least part of Idol, and they go to bed wanting more. Breakfast the day after centers on whether Dalton is more style than substance, if demure Sonika has the drive to win, and anything related to La’Porsha’s hair, Mackenzie’s teeth or J-Lo’s dress. 

It was only after the kids were in bed that we adults clicked on a different program that saw people booted out one by one. The performances and production in Lifetime’s murder mystery And Then There Were None were quite good. It was a big swing by Lifetime, which has Roots, alongside History and A&E, coming May 30. 

Big swings are what cut through this cluttered TV world, suggests Susanne Daniels, a respected TV exec before she shifted to YouTube last summer. 

“There’s really fresh work being done on traditional TV,” said Daniels, singling out USA’s Mr. Robot. “Maybe it’s because you have to; with 400 scripted series, that forces you to think outside the box.” 

Finally, with March Madness upon us, we asked Jim Nantz about his favorite cities for the Final Four. He mentioned San Antonio and New Orleans, but came back to Indianapolis. “The city is just built to host sporting events,” said Nantz. “The streets fill with fans— there’s all this revelry in the air.” 

On April 4, there will be one NCAA basketball team left standing in Houston. Three days later, there will be one Idol left standing in LA. 

Alas, the 10 “soldiers” from And Then There Were None will still be dead. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.