Nearly Half of American Idol Viewers Would Watch Show Less if Simon Leaves

13-simon-cowell-060508A new media study among 800 American Idol viewers revealed that nearly half of the viewers (47%) reported that they would watch American Idol less if Simon leaves.

The study was conducted by HCD Research using its® website on December 21-22, to obtain viewers’ perceptions of news clip discussing the possibility of Simon Cowell leaving American Idol after this season. To view interest curves and detailed results go to:

“Interest levels declined among viewers when the reporter mentioned that Simon wants to bring his British show, The X-Factor, to the United States after leaving American Idol,” explained Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research.

Among the viewers that indicated that they would watch American Idol less if Simon Cowell left, 58% indicated that they will not watch the show at all if he were to leave. In addition, Simon was rated as being the most popular American Idol judge, with 48% of responders indicating that he is their favorite judge.

Among the findings:

Will your viewing of American Idol change if Simon Cowell leaves the show?

Yes, I will watch the show more 7%
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Yes, I will watch the show less 47%
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No, I will watch the show the same
amount 46%
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Will you still watch American Idol if Simon Cowell leaves the show?

(Percentage of viewers who indicated that they would watch the show less if Cowell leaves.)

Yes 42%
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No 58%
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Please indicate who your favorite American Idol judge is.

Simon Cowell 48%
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Paula Abdul 28%
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Randy Jackson 19%
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Kara DioGuardi 5%
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While viewing the video, participants indicated their perceived levels of interest by moving their mouse from left to right on a continuum. The responses were recorded in quarter-second intervals and reported in the form of curves. The participants were also asked to respond to post-viewing questions.

HCD Research is a marketing and communications research company headquartered in Flemington, NJ. The company’s services include traditional and web-based research. For additional information on HCD Research, access the company’s web site at or call HCD Research at 908-788-9393.® ( is a media measurement website that provides the media and general public with a venue to view Americans’ perceptions of popular and controversial media events and advertisements.