“American Idol” has been off the air for a little more than a year. If things continue to go the way they’re going now, it will be back on the air in less than another year.
The “framework” of a deal to revive the singing competition on ABC has been worked out, according to Variety. That’s not the same as a deal being completed. But an agreement between the network, producer FremantleMedia North America and Core Media, which owns the “Idol” franchise, looks like it will be in place before ABC announces its 2017-18 schedule on May 16.
A lot of details still need to be ironed out as well, including who will serve as judges and who will host the show. Previous “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest just became co-host the ABC-distributed morning talk show “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” but it tapes in New York and Fremantle reportedly wants to keep “Idol” based in Los Angeles.
Depending on when ABC airs the show — Sunday nights starting in early 2018 has been mentioned in a few reports — it would be theoretically possible for Seacrest to do both, but it wouldn’t be easy.
“American Idol” ran for 15 seasons on FOX, including a run of seven straight as the No. 1 show on TV among adults 18-49. It faded in later seasons and at the end was a very expensive show for FOX, which was part of the reason for its cancellation.
Still, it was a pretty decent performer given the current ratings climate. It averaged a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 and about 9.3 million viewers the night it aired last season, rising to 3.0 and 11 million with a week of DVR viewing. It was the No. 3 reality show in the 18-49 demographic last season, behind “The Voice” and “The Bachelor.”
NBC made an initial play for “Idol” earlier this year, but talks fell apart. FOX has also expressed interest, but ABC is the front-runner.