It’s official! After days of speculation ABC has closed the deal to be the new home of American Idol. You may recall that Fox, its home network of 15 years, wrapped the show in April of 2016. However, when Ryan Seacrest’s Idol sign off for the Fox Network included the words, “Goodbye… for now,” the industry couldn’t help but speculate if the media mogul was going to use his influence at other networks to facilitate a revival. Seacrest confirmed the revival rumors on the new Live With Kelly and Ryan talk show and his nationally syndicated On Air With Ryan Seacrest radio show on Monday morning, saying it’s “unofficial, but very close that it could” end up returning…just not on Fox. Well, in case you missed it, Good Morning America had the pleasure of officially confirming that Idol would return during the 2017-2018 season.
“American Idol on ABC…that has a nice ring to it,” Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney|ABC, said in a statement. “Idol is an entertainment icon, and now it will air where it belongs, in ABC’s lineup of addictive fan favorites alongside Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor. America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder and better-than-ever Idol.”
ABC won what ballooned into a bidding war against NBC and a remorseful Fox, who made an “Insane” offer to prevent the move. NBC was in talks to have Idol join its slate of reality talent competition shows, which includes The Voice and America’s Got Talent back in February. It isn’t hard to see why. American Idol averaged 36 million viewers at its peak. NBC ended up bowing out, but Disney and ABC started playing negociation hard ball against Fox after Ryan became Kelly Ripa’s co-host for Live on May 1st.
“American Idol is a pop-culture staple that left the air too soon,” Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment, said 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.”
Idol’s series finale, which aired in April 2016, attracted a little more nine million viewers, with its final line-up of judges consisting of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr..
“All of the intense speculation surrounding the comeback of American Idol demonstrates just how popular and powerful this brand remains,” Peter Hurwitz, CEO of CORE Media Group, a producer of the show, said in a statement. “ABC shares our belief in the enduring value of ‘Idol’ and will provide us with the perfect new home to showcase the gold standard of singing competition shows.”