American Idol really is on the way back.
About a year after the singing competition bid farewell last April, ABC made the stunning decision a couple weeks ago to revive the iconic program.
Not many details are available at the moment (host, premiere date, etc.), but American Idol is very much a part of that network’s upcoming programming schedule.
Many within the industry assume it will air on Sunday nights next spring.
During a conference call as part of the network’s upfronts in New York City on Monday, Fox CEO and Chairman Dana Walden was asked about the unusual situation.
And she made it clear that executives at Fox weren’t exactly thrilled with the development.
“It feels bad knowing it’s coming back on another network,” Walden told reporters, adding:
“It’s obviously a tough one for us. We loved American Idol. It’s so connected to the Fox brand. It was associated with a tremendous amount of success for everyone involved for 15 years.”
Walden claims she had discussions with production company FremantleMedia North America about revising the show in 2020.
But “they just weren’t interested in” waiting that long.
“All of our research and all of our fan forums supported that notion,” she said of waiting a few years to revive Idol.
“We did not see the fan excitement and enthusiasm for the show to come back that Fremantle did. We just had a different set of facts.”
Walden then couldn’t help but to throw a few shots in the direction of what ABC has in mind.
“It felt to us, sitting in those initial meetings with Fremantle, like it would be extremely fraudulent to bring the show back quickly,” she said, expounding as follows:
“Our fans would not appreciate being told one thing and then have the show brought back right away. We and Fremantle just had very different points of view.”
Meanwhile, Us Weekly has now confirmed that Chris Daughtry will be one of the judges on ABC’s version of the competition.
Idol got a bit embarrassed last week when it was announced that both Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson would be joining The Voice for upcoming editions of that NBC series.
“They wanted a panel of all ex contestants,” an insider tells the magazine. “Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson were all on their wish list.”
Well, one of those three women is still available at least.
Disney co-chairman Ben Sherwood announced on May 9 that American Idol is headed for his network.
“American Idol on ABC … that has a nice ring to it,” Sherwood said in a statement.
“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.
“America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder and better-than-ever Idol.”
Will this return include Ryan Seacrest as host?
All rumors and even many actual statements make it sound as if this will be the case.
Come on, ABC: Call up Paula and Simon! Get the band back together!
“I don’t know, we’re still talking about it,” Seacrest told Entertainment Tonight a few days ago of the possibility.
Newly installed as the co-host alongside Kelly Ripa each morning on ABC, Seacrest also endorsed Ripa as a potential panelist for the new Idol.
“She is incredible,” the 42-year-old said of Ripa. “She was so remarkable and sincere and lovely when she came on at the last season. I think she’d made a fantastic judge.”
This is all A LOT to take in, we know.
For now, just answer the following question: Will you watch American Idol on ABC?