Albert Fisher, Emmy Winning Producer, Says: American Idol Insults Have Gone Too Far -- Makes Offer To Bring Back The Original Amateur Hour

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After outcries over insulting way contestants are being treated on Fox's American Idol, an award winning broadcaster says "enough is enough" and encourages media outlets to partner to bring back the classic radio and television series that started the amateur talent competition The Original Amateur Hour (http://www.originalamateurhour.com). Show format, title, archives etc. being offered in partnership plan.

But now American Idol seems to relish in the lengths the judges can go to hurl viscous remarks at performers who are giving it their all.

After outcries over insulting way contestants are being treated on Fox's American Idol, an award winning broadcaster says "enough is enough" and encourages media outlets to partner to bring back the classic radio and television series that started the amateur talent competition The Original Amateur Hour (http://www.originalamateurhour.com). Show format, title, archives etc. being offered in partnership plan.

"The ongoing and unwarranted insults and hurtful remarks being levied at contestants on American Idol have gone on too long and have gone too far," says the TV rights representative of the show that started it all: The Original Amateur Hour. "Enough is enough," says Albert Fisher keeper of the highly popular official Amateur Hour web site: http://www.originalamateurhour.com.

For years now, National Emmy winning broadcasting veteran Albert Fisher has seen how the legacy of the grandest talent competition show of them all has been continually eroded by the ever-increasing nastiness of the Fox TV series: American Idol. Amateur talent competitions started back in 1934 with radio's Major Bowes and The Original Amateur Hour and continued into the television era with Ted Mack and The Original Amateur Hour. A long standing tradition of offering people of all walks of life an opportunity to be seen and heard without being ridiculed was established. And along the way over 50 major stars of stage, screen, radio, television and recordings were discovered. Some of the illustrious alumnae of The Original Amateur Hour include Frank Sinatra, Gladys Knight, Ann-Margret, Robert Klein, Pat Boone, Raul Julia, Jose Feliciano, Beverly Sills, Nick Carter, Penny Marshall and Irene Cara.

It's not just the viewers of American Idol who are looking for a refreshing and less abusive outlet for talented amateurs. In a column in The Ft. Worth Journal Gazette on Sunday, January 21st, 2007, (http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/living/16513421.htm) columnist Steve Penhollow noted: "'American Idol' has not been kind to the whole concept of talent show. Hopefully, a new talent show will return the form to its roots. ... 'Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour' (had) joy. The people ... seemed to be having a good time. ... Is anyone having a good time on 'American Idol'? Of course not."

On the same date, Harris Blackwood of Florida's Gainesville Times (http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20070121/localnews/151367.shtml) says in an article headlined: "Fox's 'Idol' finds short supply of true talent: Then there was "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour." Louis Walcott appeared on the show in 1948 and did rather well at the violin. For some reason, Louis gave up the fiddle and changed his named to Farrakhan and became the leader of the Nation of Islam. But there were others who became household names, such as Pat Boone. Then there was the lovely accordion player, Connie Francanero. Ted suggested she hang up the accordion and sing. We now know her as Connie Francis. A pretty 16-year-old named Ann-Margret Olson appeared on the show in 1957. In time, she dropped the Olson and became Ann-Margret. What all these contestants had in common is that they had talent. Somebody watched them and saw some degree of star quality. Enough to land them on television."

"More than 25,000 acts have appeared on The Original Amateur Hour and never was a single performer insulted or ridiculed because of their performance," said Fisher. "But now American Idol seems to relish in the lengths the judges can go to hurl viscous remarks at performers who are giving it their all."

Fisher, whose long career in television began as a talent scout for the Ted Mack series notes: "It's about time that someone stood up for these young men and women who just want a chance to be seen and heard. On The Original Amateur Hour if an act stumbled or was bad, we didn't kick them off the show or make fun of them. Just the opposite. Host Ted Mack would come over to the performer who was having a tough time and put his arm around them and give them encouragement and invite them to either start over or come back on the next show. The viewers loved it. It was honest, heartwarming and often resulted in the act going on to win the show."

It was also The Original Amateur Hour that made famous the gong. Fisher explains: "Back in radio, Major Bowes started to use the gong as an audio hook to get a bad act off the air. But after the first season, the audiences rebelled so much that Bowes permanently stopped interrupting any act. However, the gong remained a symbol of the show throughout its 37 year history. This even resulted in producer/host Chuck Barris borrowing the gong idea for his own TV series: The Gong Show in the 1980's." Another well-remembered tradition from the Amateur Hour was the spinning of The Wheel of Fortune and the phrase that started every broadcast: Round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows.

Making the Original Amateur Hour Available to Broadcasters Once Again
Albert Fisher now feels that the time is right to bring back the wholesome family entertainment talent competition of The Original Amateur Hour. To do so, he is making the highly recognized show name, format and archives available to the right broadcaster. "There must be a forward thinking network, cable outlet or syndicator out there who can see the tremendous potential of resurrecting The Original Amateur Hour in a young, new and vibrant format which can take full advantage of today's multi-layered technologies," says Fisher. In addition to the format and concept of the time-honored series, Fisher is also making available the full archives which are currently on deposit at The Library of Congress in Washington, DC. "We have many hundreds of hours of the old television and radio shows kept in pristine condition. These include the original performances of many of the top stars who got their start as amateurs on the program. They are wonderful time capsules of American entertainment industry history," notes Fisher.

Albert Fisher is aiming to partner with a major outlet to bring back The Original Amateur Hour. Interested parties can contact Mr. Fisher directly through his Los Angeles based company: Fisher Television Productions, Inc. (323) 692-0991.

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