With American Idol season 5 now underway, there is a question that has danced upon the zeitgeist for 3 1/2 years: why did season 1 of American Idol propel host Ryan Seacrest along the path to household-name stardomious ubiquity, and his co-host that first season, Brian Dunkleman, to the blackest abyss of obscurity?
Hell if I know, because like many I missed season 1 in its odd summer of ’02 run, not joining the Idol juggernaut until the Clay-Reuben funfest of season 2. What felonious crimes of hosting could the Dunkleman have committed that literally wiped him off the showbiz map?
Come this September, enquiring minds will be able to relive the Dunkleman Days of season 1 when Tribune Entertainment will syndicate American Idol Rewind, an hour-long weekend show that will repackage American Idol’s first season into a 26-week run, “streamlined” and “enhanced” to include previously unaired footage, including Idol 1 winner Kelly Clarkson’s original audition, additional behind the scenes facts and details, and new footage that will focus on how key contestants, especially finalists, got through the competition.
American Idol creator Simon Fuller said, “American Idol Rewind capitalizes on an extensive library of the country’s #1 show to offer fans the opportunity to revisit some of their old favorites. This is the first time the country can now track each winner throughout the season — from beginning to final performance.”
And relive the Era of Dunkelman as well, of course. Justin Guarini, who just missed beating out Kelly Clarkson for the title, will return from the pop culture grave as well – his career on a beeline to ignominy almost as determined as Dunkleman’s after that fateful September ’02 night when he and Kelly embraced on almost equal footing.
Tribune Entertainment announced yesterday it has clearances covering 65 percent of the country, including 24 of the Top 25 markets, for the Rewind series.