American Idol Files For Bankruptcy Less Than A Month After Series’ Finale

The producer of American Idol has filed for bankruptcy less than a month after the show’s final episode aired.

Core Media Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, saying it has not yet found a way to replace revenue earned from American Idol, according to CNN.

The show was once a ratings juggernaut and huge profit driver for Fox. It averaged more than 20 million viewers every season from 2003, the show’s second year on the air, through 2011, according to ratings tracker Nielsen Media. It reached a high point with an average of nearly 31 million viewers in 2006, and was the top-rated show on television for eight consecutive seasons.

But its ratings fell hard afterward. By the end, it was no longer even Fox’s top-rated program, losing that distinction to the new drama Empire. The final episode, which aired in early April, drew around 13.3 million viewers.

Singer and former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson voiced last year that she thought that American Idol, the show that launched her career, should end while it was still hot. “American Idol changed the face of television,” she said. “So, not everyone can say that. And, it’s always been a phenomenon. I’m proud to have come from American Idol, so I just say, go out on top.”

Hudson, 34, Fantasia Barrino, 31, and Latoya London, 37, reunited on April 7 for the American Idol finale, and their performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” was simply stunning. The “Three Divas” came together to perform for the first time since season three. See the amazing performance here.

Barrino was crowned the season 3 winner of American Idol but it was Hudson, the contestant who came in seventh place, whose recording and acting career would eclipse the other divas. Hudson would go on to win an Academy Award, Grammy, and Golden Globe. And while she didn’t get nominated for a Tony Award, Hudson is lighting up the Broadway stage.

Related Story: Watch Jennifer Hudson, Danielle Brooks, and Cyntia Eirvo to Star in ‘The Color Purple’

In the years since American Idol‘s 2002 debut, the show has not only changed the lives of its contestants, but also of reporters, television critics, and bloggers dedicated to covering its every note, critique, and elimination on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

As for American Idol’s producers, Core’s creditors include Sony Music Entertainment, Goldman Sachs, and CBS Broadcasting.

Core also produced the FOX hit series So You Think You Can Dance, and managed the careers of multiple American Idol winners and finalists, according to its website.

[WATCH] Jennifer Hudson, Danielle Brooks, and Cynthia Erivo to Star in ‘The Color Purple’

Once again, The Color Purple, a landmark musical from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker, will take over the Broadway stage opening on December 3.  Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe winner Jennifer Hudson will play the role of Shug Avery,  Cynthia Erivo will play the role as Celie, which she played in the London staging of musicalDanielle Brooks, known for her role as Taystee in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, will star as Sofia.

[Below: Watch Video]

During an interview with Paul Wontorek of Broadway.com, producer Scott Sanders said, “What {director} John Doyle has done with The Color Purple is a revelation—to maintain the show’s epic sweep and sense of history while also ensuring that Celie’s journey be an intimate, emotionally profound theatrical experience.” He adds, “Celie is the heart of The Color Purple and Cynthia Erivo, an astonishingly talented young actress who will be making her Broadway debut, is thrilling in the role. She breaks the audience’s heart and heals it by the show’s finale, all while blowing the roof off the theatre with her remarkable voice. And having her joined onstage by an acclaimed actress and recording star like Jennifer Hudson—who will also be making her Broadway debut—all but guarantees some legendary musical theatre fireworks.”

Watch the full interview below.

For ticket information, visit colorpurple.com.

[WATCH] Jennifer Hudson, Danielle Brooks, and Cynthia Erivo to Star in ‘The Color Purple’

Once again, The Color Purple, a landmark musical from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker, will take over the Broadway stage opening on December 3.  Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe winner Jennifer Hudson will play the role of Shug Avery,  Cynthia Erivo will play the role as Celie, which she played in the London staging of musicalDanielle Brooks, known for her role as Taystee in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, will star as Sofia.

[Below: Watch Video]

During an interview with Paul Wontorek of Broadway.com, producer Scott Sanders said, “What {director} John Doyle has done with The Color Purple is a revelation—to maintain the show’s epic sweep and sense of history while also ensuring that Celie’s journey be an intimate, emotionally profound theatrical experience.” He adds, “Celie is the heart of The Color Purple and Cynthia Erivo, an astonishingly talented young actress who will be making her Broadway debut, is thrilling in the role. She breaks the audience’s heart and heals it by the show’s finale, all while blowing the roof off the theatre with her remarkable voice. And having her joined onstage by an acclaimed actress and recording star like Jennifer Hudson—who will also be making her Broadway debut—all but guarantees some legendary musical theatre fireworks.”

Watch the full interview below.

For ticket information, visit colorpurple.com.

Jennifer Hudson and Sister Give Back to Chicago Students In Need

Image: Julian D. King Gift Foundation

Jennifer Hudson and her sister, Julia Hudson, held their Annual Hatch Day Celebration on Aug. 14, where they provided more than 8, 100 Chicago students in need with school supplies.

Held at the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Chicago, thousands of children and their parents lined up to receive the school supplies that they hadn’t yet been able to check off of their back-to-school lists.

“Our goal each year is very simple,” Hudson said in a press release. “We want these kids to know we are here for them and paying attention to their needs. If one child walks away with that feeling, then we’ve been successful. Chicago needs positive support more than ever and we hope that by doing this, we can encourage the next generation to keep on in that direction.”

The annual “Hatch Day” is held in honor of Julia’s son and Jennifer’s late nephew, Julian D. King, who would have been 13 years-old on the day of this year’s event.

The give back event provides students with everything they need to get a healthy head-start in school including scissors, calculators, notebooks, pencils, pens, paper, protractors, binders, music, entertainment, and treats.

“Going to school has never been more expensive,” Julia said. “We want our community’s children to have everything they need in order to start the school year out right and that’s what we aim to do every year we host Hatch Day in Julian’s honor.”

 

Carnival Cruise Lines Kicks Off ‘Carnival Live’ Series With Jennifer Hudson

jennifer hudson smiling yellow dressCarnival Cruise Lines unveiled a new entertainment offering yesterday to bring the best in live music to the seas. A first-of-its-kind experience in the cruise industry, the Carnival LIVE Concert Series offers Carnival guests the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive onboard performance by a diverse roster of popular music artists while ships are docked at select ports of call.

Carnival has booked 49 performance dates for the 2014 concert series with the following artists including Gavin Degraw, Daughtry, LeAnn Rhimes, Lady Antebellum and Jennifer Hudson.

“Performing live is one of my favorite things,” said GRAMMY® Award-winner, Jennifer Hudson at an exclusive launch event for Carnival LIVE in New York City on January 22. “I’m excited to be part of this unique concert series that will allow me to interact with my fans in such an intimate and memorable setting.”

In addition to the Carnival LIVE Concert Series, Carnival is also enhancing its popular shipboard house bands. The bands will feature both male and female lead singers, a more choreographed, themed and diverse set list, and increased interaction with guests. Nine Carnival ships currently feature the new bands, with implementation across the full fleet over the course of this year.

“Onboard entertainment is an important part of the overall guest experience when cruising,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “With the Carnival LIVE Concert Series, our guests will enjoy an exclusive performance with one of their favorite artists for an extraordinary value. Combined with our enhanced house bands fleetwide, this is just another example of the many ways we are constantly looking to create even more fun and memorable moments for our guests.”

For additional information, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

Jennifer Hudson Returns to American Idol to Judge

jennifer hudson smilingSo, American Idol is reaching back in their past to hopefully, make their future brighter!

As previously mentioned, American Idol, is revamping the judges’ panel and has reached back to one of their most popular contestants, Jennifer Hudson, to sit in one of the now vacant seats.

As reported on E!, she is the first former contestant to sign on as a judge as the producers look to hire two others as well.

The producers plan on making the panel consist of 3 judges again and are currently in talks with Kelly Clarkson and may pursue either Clay Aiken or Adam Lambert. The thinking is that the previous winners can help ‘usher’ in the new generation of winners.

Although Hudson didn’t win the season she competed on, she is arguably one of the  highest, if not, the highest, profiled singer who has appeared on the competition.

Jennifer Hudson: “American Idol Should go out on Top”

jennifer hudson smilingWhile promoting her new movie “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” singer and former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson says she thinks that American Idol, the show that launched her career, should end soon.

“American Idol changed the face of television,” she said. “So, not everyone can say that. And, it’s always been a phenomenon. I’m proud to have come from ‘American Idol,’ so I just say, go out on top.”

Even Clay Aiken says, “Kelly [Clarkson] and Justin [Guarini] and Tamyra [Gray] and Nikki McKibbin, they were all the stars of the show. And when I was on, Ruben [Studdard] and myself and Kimberly Locke were the stars of the show. Now ‘Idol’ is about the judges. I don’t even know if they remember there are contestants anymore.”

Read the full story at Black Voices

Jennifer Hudson To Appear on Oprah’s Next Chapter

From Oprah.com

In a heartfelt sit-down interview, Grammy and Oscar-award winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson will appear on the latest episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” which is set to air on Sept. 9.

The Oprah interview will see Jennifer speak about her meteoric rise to fame after competing on American Idol, being a mom and her yet to be announced wedding date.

In a preview of the interview, a teary-eyed Hudson is seen opening up about the tragic murders of her mother, brother and nephew, and their killer, Hudson’s ex brother-in-law, who was sentenced to life in prison.

Read more at Oprah.com.