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This year "Idol" expanded to a more formidable two hours and attracted 23.6 million viewers, while the Olympics climbed to 19.7 million.

In this sentence, the author thinks of '(more formidable) two hours' as one unit, and that's why he/she put a before those words, right?

Thanks.
Comments  
I personally feel "formidable" is a wrong choice of word. It may not even need an adjective
LiveinjapanThis year, "Idol" has expanded to a more formidable two hours and attracted 23.6 million viewers, while the Olympics climbed to 19.7 million.
Thanks, Dimsum.

I think 'Idol' here is one TV program aired for two hours but the author wanted to describe how it was so used an adjective, which leads to forming a noun phrase starting an article I suppose, and therefore whether to use the present perfect for just one program is still my question. Maybe I'm wrong.
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Hi Liveinjapan,
I've been a fan for "American Idol" since its inception. The beginning of the season hasalways been a two-hour program on every Tuesday. In fact, I watched last night's final 24 elimination.
As far as using "formidable" is concerned, I never heard it used on a show. Perhaps, "he is a formidable competitor, force to reconken with.
Got it!
Many thanks, Dimsum.