Last year, on March 26th, I wrote a piece called “And THIS… is (The End of) ‘American Idol’!” After an incredible 15 seasons, FOX ended the groundbreaking reality competition series on Apr. 7, 2016. Host Ryan Seacrest was with it the entire run, and the original panel of judges, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, reunited on the final night to help say goodbye.
The two-hour-plus series finale was filled with old clips and retrospectives, as well as numerous guest performances. It was very well-produced and entertaining. I, like most of the nation, thought this would be the last time – either for good or at least for a good while – that we would see “American Idol”.
But here we are, a little over a year later, and ABC is set to officially announce they will be reviving “Idol” next March. The idea is to potentially air the show on Sunday nights. [This isn’t designed to be a replacement to the spring season of “Dancing with the Stars”, the network’s most popular show.] Many elements still need to be in place: if it’s only going to be on Sundays, how will the format change? How long will the season run? “Idol” traditionally ran from January to May (though the final season was shortened to April).
But the biggest question right now: Will it be Seacrest In or Seacrest Out? He JUST landed the “LIVE” co-host gig (under the Disney-ABC umbrella). If he wanted to do “Idol”, the show would HAVE to be taped in NYC. However, reports from Fremantle Media, the company behind “Idol”, state they don’t want it leaving LA. Taking the Red Eye every Sunday night to be in The Big Apple in time for “LIVE” on Mondays at 9am would likely be a pain for Seacrest – though it’s not much of a stretch from what he’s going to be doing on a weekly basis anyway. NYC is obviously much more convenient, though.
If New York is out, I think Seacrest will be as well. So who will do it instead? Kelly Clarkson is a rumor right now, though I think she’d be better as one of the judges. They also need to be lined up. And ABC hasn’t given themselves much time to work out these core details, as they’re expected to make the “American Idol 2.0” announcement as part of their Upfronts presentation on May 16.