After a 13-month hiatus, former hit-turned-dud reality show American Idol is returning to the air.
The news was officially announced yesterday by ABC, the network that has picked the show up for its next season. (‘Idol’ previously ran on FOX for 15 seasons.)
“‘American Idol’ on ABC…that has a nice ring to it,” Ben Sherwood, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC, said in a statement yesterday. “‘Idol’ is an entertainment icon, and now it will air where it belongs, in ABC’s lineup of addictive fan favorites alongside Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor.
Ben Sherwood promised that the ABC reboot of ‘American Idol’ will be nothing like the ‘Idol’ of the past, which in recent years saw its once-sky-high ratings fall to dismal levels.
“America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder and better-than-ever ‘Idol,'” he added.
Few details have been released regarding the new-and-improved ‘Idol.’ However, Entertainment Tonight reports that the show’s producers are hoping to get former ‘Idol’ host Ryan Seacrest to sign back on. (He recently started a new gig as co-host of Live alongside Kelly Ripa.)
“It’s entirely possible to do ‘American Idol’ in New York City [where ‘Live’ tapes],” ET‘s production company source said. “[Ryan is] the glue that keeps the show together. A reboot without him is almost unthinkable. The fans want the show to come back and they want it with Ryan.”
Although ABC execs think that fans want the show to come back, not everyone agrees. Former ‘Idol’ executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told Variety that, “It feels a little too soon to bring it back.”
Here’s what else we know about the ‘Idol’ reboot:
- TMZ reports that ABC is considering doing the show only one night a week, to help make it easier for Ryan to fit into his schedule.
- The site also reports that Kelly Clarkson (the first ‘Idol’ winner) is being considered as one of the show’s judges, and that Kelly is reportedly so interested that “her team is already looking to clear her schedule so she can participate.”
- ‘Idol’ auditions may be held at Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, instead of all across the country as in previous seasons. The two-location format would be easier for filming and less expensive.
- The new ‘Idol’ will air in the 2017-2018 season. Variety reports that the new season will likely premiere in March 2018, and that the show will air on Sunday nights.
More details about the reboot are expected to be released later this month by ABC at the network’s “Upfront” Presentation in New York City.