By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Jan 21, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I was ready to write off "American Idol." To be honest, I already did years ago.

I think if you chat with many others, very few still stand behind the godfather of singing competition shows and would still call themselves a fan. Funny part is, no one should ever feel funny about liking a TV show. But I guess they feel the character of a show could stereotype them as a person.

Fox’s "Idol" has been around for so long, and was recently so bad, that people do shy away.

But, the numbers don’t lie. The second night showing of this season’s first episodes pulled in a 10.2 rating on WITI-TV Fox 6 on Thursday night.

One huge reason is that the show may actually be at its musical roots with Harry Connick Jr.

The best part of the show is that Connick is not as well-known as other judges. In the auditions, there were people who had no idea who he was.

USA Today reported that Connick stole the spotlight. But, to be honest, since the Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj nightmare of last year, the spotlight was just there for the taking.

"My whole life has been a lot of interaction with people who are a lot better than I am, whether it’s in a one-on-one teaching situation or a clinic or mentorship or master class. As I got older, I started to be on the giving end of those things," Connick said before the start of the 2014 season.

"I would spend a lot of time talking to kids in high school, college, even professional people about how they can improve. So I feel very comfortable in that kind of environment."

The panel with Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, has more years in experience than the last panel has – and it is different in category and experience.

"I think what I bring to it is I have a lot of experience as a player, as a singer and as a kind of an overall entertainer that’s unique to my own life," he said. "It’s like the movies I’ve done are different than the ones that Jennifer’s done and the concerts I’ve played are different than Keith’s. So, just by virtue of our own experience, I think I can bring something a little bit different."

Overall, the ratings for this latest season of "American Idol" probably will never be as strong as in the past. But with Connick on board, it will at least be different – and better – than what we had last year.

That is, unless you think the show should be more about the judges than it is about the contestants.

GOLD, JERRY, GOLD: Sometimes the best promotions are really about nothing.

Our beloved Milwaukee Admirals know that in the course of creating a fun, family atmosphere, they need to go out beyond the world of hockey to reach people. It’s called marketing beyond the core to continually grow the audience.

This is where character actor Steve Hytner comes in.

Hytner is known for his character Kenny Bania from the sitcom "Seinfeld," where his "huge" and "the best" catchphrases were pretty memorable.

You can see the clips with soup, suits an swordfish.

The Milwaukee Admirals will take on the Toronto Marlies tonight at 7 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.  Hytner will sign autographs and take pictures on the 200-level concourse before the game and through the first period.

Two Admirals players will sign autographs after the game.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.