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Invasion Of The Talent Shows

New American Idol Taylor Hicks, from Birmingham, Ala., raises his fist as he speaks with Jay Leno, host of the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno", at NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif., Thursday, May 25, 2006. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
AP Photo
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
It's summertime — and unlike most of America, my TV set is on more now than any other time of the year.

I love to watch the Yankees. The team has been challenged by a series of injuries, but somehow they've managed to win enough games to be breathing down the Red Sox' necks. Any discomfort for the Red Sox is a good thing in our house.

But, I will confess that from time to time during the game I channel surf. Most baseball games are too long, so I get restless.

The other night, I swear, every single TV channel was airing a talent show. "Rock Star Supernova," "America's Got Talent," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Making of a Music Star," "America's Next Top Model" — there are more. Really.

I suppose it's attributable to the success of "American Idol." While I won't venture a comment about what that says about our culture, I will say that this is not new: The brilliant radio comedian Fred Allen once said "imitation is the most sincere form of television."


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith