“American Idol” is about do something it’s never done before: It will let viewers across the country vote simultaneously during a live, nationwide broadcast.

Starting April 29 and continuing for two weeks after that, “Idol” will air live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The live shows in the final rounds of competition in past seasons always aired on tape delay for West Coast viewers.

The nationwide live broadcasts will let viewers vote for their favorites in real time, with an elimination at the end of each episode.

“As we head into the next phase of the ‘American Idol’ competition, it only makes sense to let every viewer from coast to coast experience the magic of live television and have the ability to vote for America’s next superstar,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey says.

The top 14 contestants performed Sunday on “Idol”; Monday’s show will cut the field to 10. The live shows will run April 29, May 6 and May 13. The show will air its final performance episode May 20 in the usual pattern — live to the eastern half of the country, tape-delayed elsewhere — and announce the winner Monday, May 21.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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