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For those that haven’t watched commercials in six months (thanks, DVR!), American Idol premieres tomorrow night.

But will its seventh season be an improvement over a lackluster sixth? Even Simon Cowell admitted that the reality competition needs a kick in the voice box this year.

“I think last year just wasn’t one of our better seasons,” he recently said to Variety. “The show has got to look better. It’s got to be more fun.”

According to sources, American Idol producers are expected to give more air-time to competitors and their families this season, a solid move considering how Idol alumni have faced mixed fortunes lately.

A handful — such as Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson — have thrived; but others such as Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard and Katharine McPhee have actually been dropped by their record labels.

Still, Cowell remains upbeat about keeping American Idol in tune.

“[It’s] got a better cast this [season],” he said, adding that contestant-wise, “I will go on record as saying this is one of the strongest years we’ve had.”