ABC will air a news special examining what the network called "explosive" allegations about the hit TV talent contest "American Idol." (search)

The hourlong "Primetime Live" report by anchor John Quinones is scheduled for 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 4.

Describing "American Idol" as a cultural phenomenon, ABC said it will "explore explosive claims about behind-the-scenes activities" at the show.

Details about the planned report were unavailable, an ABC News (search) spokesman in New York said. A call seeking comment from Fox was not immediately returned Monday.

"American Idol," in its fourth season and one of television's top-rated programs, gives singers a shot at a record contract.

Judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul winnow the field down in the early rounds, with viewers then deciding on the finalists and the winner.

Past idols are Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino.

The show is valuable not only to Fox but to 19 Entertainment, which oversees recording deals for "American Idol" stars as well as merchandising, touring, sponsorship and movies.

While ratings have remained strong, there's been consistent fan grumbling about overloaded phone systems that have made it tough for some viewers to cast votes.

"American Idol" also has been shadowed by contestants who were bounced after they failed to disclose personal information.

Corey Clark (search), dropped from the show in 2003 after producers learned about a past arrest, reportedly is trying to sell a tell-all book about his experiences with the program.