After months of speculation, stalled and then re-started talks, ‘American Idol’ is officially being revived.
Following a heated bidding war, ABC announced this morning that they have won the rights to air the next incarnation of the singing competition
As widely reported, FOX – who aired the original show for 15 seasons – was very interested as was NBC.
Ultimately, though, it’s ABC who secured the broadcast privileges from Idol’s joint owners Freemantle and Core Media Group.
And while it was thought that Idol was being readied for a 2018 return, there’s talk that that it may be back on air this year and form a central part of ABC’s 2017-18 schedule.
Speaking on the network’s major coup, Channing Dungey – the president of ABC Entertainment – said:
“American Idol is a pop-culture staple that left the air too soon. ABC is the right home to reignite the fan base. We are thrilled viewers will once again share in these inspiring stories of people realizing their dreams.”
Ben Sherwood – co-chairman of ABC’s parent company Disney – chimed in and promised a “bigger, bolder and better-than-ever Idol.” He added:
“American Idol on ABC… that has a nice ring to it. 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.
There’s no formal word on a host, but it’s notable that Ryan Seacrest recently signed on the new co-host of Live With Kelly – housed on ABC.
Word on the curb is that the network plans to bend backwards to accommodate Seacrest’s schedule so as to facilitate his Idol comeback.
On the one hand this is a major touchdown for ABC, who’ve struggled to make any kind of mark in the reality singing arena. Indeed, while they’ve sunk with titles such as ‘Rising Star,’ NBC and FOX scored wins with the likes of ‘The Voice’ and the original ‘Idol.’
Still, one has to wonder how the new revival will fare.
Internally, the reported feeling was that Idol ended prematurely because it just became too expensive to produce (thanks largely to the superstar judges it courted). However, there’s no denying that ratings were on a downward spiral and that it struggled to yield stars on the caliber of Fantasia (pictured), Kelly Clarkson, and Jennifer Hudson. A natural reality, arguably, given how long the show was on air.
People gravitate towards “newness,” as such it’ll be interesting to see whether a new network and likely changes to the format will be enough to entice viewers back. Or are folk just over such shows in general?
What do you think?