“American Idol” will be back on the air in the 2017-18 season, with a new home: ABC.
The network and “Idol’s” producers, FremantleMedia North America and CORE Media Group, have finalized an agreement to revive the show, which ended a 15-season run on FOX last year. Details are scant, even in ABC’s official release, which only says it will return in 2017-18 and that a host and judges will be named later.
Considering all that, it seems unlikely ABC will have the show on the air before spring.
“‘American Idol’ is a pop-culture staple that left the air too soon,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey says in a statement. “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.”
ABC’s parent company, Disney, had an “Idol” connection even while the show was on FOX. Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park had an “American Idol Experience” attraction for five years that allowed attendees to perform in front of an audience for a chance to secure a “front-of-the-line” spot at a future “Idol” audition.
“Idol” was still pulling solid ratings for FOX last season (although far from the dominant numbers it once did), averaging a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 and about 9.3 million viewers the night it aired. FOX cited the show’s substantial costs as a reason for pulling the plug.
Host Ryan Seacrest recently joined the ABC/Disney family when he became the co-host of morning talk show “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” There’s been speculation that he would return as host, though it would be logistically tough to pull off as “Live” tapes in New York and “Idol’s” producers want it to remain in Los Angeles.
ABC announces its 2017-18 lineup on May 16.