After rumors and speculation abounded, it was finally confirmed today that the American Idol reboot is really happening. The original version of the show, which ran for 15 seasons, was a ratings phenomenon and launched the careers of the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, David Cook, and Jennifer Hudson. It also brought Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell into the spotlight and re-launched Paula Abdul’s career.
The speculation about the American Idol reboot first happened after Seacrest signed off on the show for the last time. When he did, he said that this was the end of the show “for now,” leading many people to believe that the show would be back again in some format.
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According to USA Today, the American Idol reboot won’t be on Fox this time. Instead, it will make its home on ABC. And though no details have been provided about judges, hosts, or anything else, Disney — the parent company of ABC — is confirming that it’s moving forward with the show.
For what it’s worth, however, Ryan Seacrest — who recently joined ABC as the co-host of Live with Kelly and Ryan — hinted that he might be interested in hosting the show in its new version, though he admitted that he wasn’t sure if his schedule permitted it.
American Idol reboot: “A pop culture statement that left too soon,” said Disney
It’s official. ABC has confirmed American Idol is coming back!???? pic.twitter.com/lfbR9r4MFo
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The New York Times, meanwhile, said that the American Idol reboot was part of a larger plan by networks to save their steadily-falling ratings.
“Fox announced it was ending its ‘American Idol’ run two years ago, and the show’s final episode was in April 2016. Few were surprised when the decision was announced. But in the time since the cancellation, as the big four networks have been experiencing a steady and alarming ratings downfall, they have turned to reboots in the hopes of regaining viewers. Fox, in particular, turned to old properties like ’24,’ ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Prison Break’ to fill the ‘American Idol’ gap. ABC made the decision to bring back ‘American Idol’ just a week before its annual upfront presentation, a meticulously crafted showcase for advertisers where networks announce their fall lineup.”
The outlet went on to point out that NBC was also in negotiations for the show, but they ultimately lost to ABC.
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Slate, however, is much more certain that Ryan Seacrest will rejoin the American Idol reboot as the host of the show. The original flavor of American Idol, after all, was the springboard that launched his career as a multi-hyphenate and turned him into a virtual billionaire.
Who the judges will be, however, is something that’s a little more up in the air. They already know that Simon Cowell won’t be returning, because he’s over at NBC’s America’s Got Talent. It’s unlikely that Jennifer Lopez will return, because she’s enjoying success on Shades of Blue (also executive produced by Ryan Seacrest, incidentally), and she also has a new reality show coming out later this year.
“Disney ABC president Ben Sherwood said, ‘America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder and better-than-ever Idol.’ We’ll probably learn more after ABC’s annual upfront presentation on May 16. Until then, the only thing to do is speculate wildly about who the judges will be—throwbacks like Idol veteran Kelly Clarkson or Simon Cowell? Fresh faces, like Selena Gomez or Ariana Grande? Kanye West? It’s anyone’s guess.”
Will you be watching the American Idol reboot? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Fox]