American Idol beats OJ Simpson TV special

LOS ANGELES • American Idol or a former American idol?

Television ratings data on Monday showed that while a 2006 interview in which former football star O.J. Simpson gave a hypothetical account of how he might have murdered his former wife fired up social media, Americans proved more interested in watching the reboot of the singing competition TV series.

About 10.3 million viewers watched the two-hour premiere of American Idol on ABC on Sunday night, compared with 4.4 million who tuned in to see rival Fox broadcast the 2006 tape in a show called O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?, according to Nielsen.

Fox broadcast for the first time the video in which he talked about his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson and gives a hypothetical account of events on the night in June 1994 when she and her friend Ron Goldman were murdered at her Los Angeles home.

O.J. Simpson was acquitted of double murder in 1995 after a 13-month trial in a case that continues to captivate Americans. The 2006 interview and a book written by Judith Regan based on it were pulled from publication at the time because of public outrage.

The Twitter hashtag #DidOJConfess was one of the top-trending items on Sunday night, but few posters on social media felt the video had changed their opinion about Simpson's guilt or innocence.

Under US law, a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice.

Mainstream media was mostly critical of Fox for airing the interview, which was seen as an attempt to draw viewers away from ABC's revival of American Idol two years after the talent show ended on Fox after 15 seasons.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2018, with the headline 'American Idol beats OJ Simpson TV special'. Subscribe