They’re hogging the spotlight!
In a desperate attempt to reverse plummeting ratings, “American Idol,” a network television talent show soon to become a pop-culture footnote, is seizing on the coattails of one of Bay Ridge’s most popular institutions — Brooklyn Senior Idol.
Lawyers for the Fox network show sent Senior Idol sponsor state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) a letter threatening legal action if he didn’t rename the beloved contest.
“While our client appreciates your enthusiasm for the American Idol and Idol brands, as a federal trademark owner, FremantleMedia cannot allow the unauthorized use of the Brooklyn Senior Idol Mark in connection with talent competition services,” the letter states, according to a press release from Golden’s office. “Cease using the Brooklyn Senior Idol Mark in connection with your talent competitions and remove ... any advertisements, promotions, signs, or other material containing the Brooklyn Senior Idol mark.”
The move is laughable, according to last year’s Senior Idol winner.
“It’s a little ridiculous, but that’s the way people are — they have too much time on their hands,” said Senior Idol’s 2014 winner, Anthony Neve. “I don’t think one has anything to do with the other. This is not televised — this is for a charity.”
Senior Idol is an annual singing competition for older Brooklynites that raises money for Xaverian High School’s music program.
The other “Idol” — a 14-years-running network television show that has spun off international adaptations — couldn’t possibly be worried that Neilsen families in Iowa would ever confuse the show with Bay Ridge’s Senior Idol. That leaves only one explanation — the missive is a publicity stunt the show breathlessly sputtered out amid the din of its own labored death rattles.
The show’s ratings have declined since its second season and hit an all-time low during last year’s season finale.
Idol’s attorneys declined to comment or share a copy of the letter.
A local lawyer framed the conflict as one of biblical proportions and suggested Golden will come out the victor.
“Marty’s reputation will only increase as a result of this David-versus-Goliath type of situation,” said Ridge attorney Bob Howe. “In the long run, Goliath may not get slain, but he is going to get dinged up, and I think it’s going provide a lot of entertainment and give Marty a lot of fun.”
Indeed Golden is not standing by idle — the show will go on under a different name, he said.
“Brooklyn’s talented seniors will make you laugh, cry, and celebrate at the show regardless of what we call it,” Golden said in a statement.
He’s taking residents’ ideas for a new name. Perhaps a musical moniker that — without any apparent reference to the television show — is both patriotic and references a popular form of verse. Perhaps, “American Idyll.”
To suggest a name, contact Golden’s office at golde