Just ahead of what would have been its official announcement at the TV industry’s Upfront presentations next week, Disney has announced that “American Idol” will be returning to TV on its own network, ABC.
The popular singing competition, which debuted in 2002 and launched some careers of today’s music superstars, is being revived just shy a year after it was cancelled after 15 seasons on Fox due to poor ratings and less advertising dollars coming in as other singing competitions like “The Voice” were gaining popularity.
Still, Ryan Seacrest, the show’s host for all its seasons, was almost oracle-like in saying “Goodnight America…for now” on the very last show hinting that the show would get a second-life one day. Seacrest himself is now an ABC regular, having host Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for years and now recently joining Kelly Ripa on her morning show as permanent co-host.
And that same Seacrest, who is now an ABC employee, seems to be on something. It’s probably along the lines that the American Idol brand was strong enough to have producers revisit the idea of bringing it back after an extended “commercial break.” All they would need to do is talk to other networks who would be crazy enough to listen. In early 2017, two major networks eventually were in negotiations with Fremantle Media (owners to the rights of the Idol brand) – NBC and ABC – with ABC winning the hearts of producers and their wallets.
Specific details on why the show is returning including how much money was paid to do so, the format of the show, and who the host would be were not announced. We’re expecting more news to come from the Upfront presentation on May 16 in New York City.
But our sources have told us that the main reason why the reality TV singing show is returning is because it’s a popular TV brand that adds variety to ABC’s existing reality TV lineup. It’s been a tough journey for the TV network to find a singing TV show to air, but it might have one of the most valuable ones in its portfolio now.
“‘American Idol’ on ABC…that has a nice ring to it,” said Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney|ABC. “‘Idol’ is an entertainment icon, and now it will air where it belongs, in ABC’s lineup.”
We’ll be sure to update this post with more information as we get it. The new American Idol is set to debut sometime in 2018.