American Idol is an American singing competition airing on FOX. It debuted on June 11, 2002, and has since become one of the most popular shows on American television. Part of the Idol franchise, it is a spinoff from the reality program Pop Idol, which was created by British entertainment executive Simon Fuller and first aired in 2001 in the United Kingdom.
The program seeks to discover the best singer in the country through a series of nationwide auditions. The American public decides the outcomes of the later stages through phone voting. The judges give critiques of the contestants' performances: Grammy award-winning record producer and music manager Randy Jackson; Grammy award-winning pop singer and Emmy award-winning choreographer Paula Abdul; music executive and music manager Simon Cowell; and Grammy award-nominated singer-songwriter and record producer Kara DioGuardi. The format originally featured three judges, with Kara DioGuardi added in the eighth season.
The show is hosted by television personality Ryan Seacrest. Comedian Brian Dunkleman co-hosted with Seacrest during the first season. The American Idol band is led by Rickey Minor.
The show usually airs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the United States and Canada, Wednesday and Thursday nights in Australia & Asia, Thursday and Friday nights in the United Kingdom and Friday and Saturday nights in Israel.