ABC is reportedly close to striking a deal to air a revival of the beloved singing competition “American Idol.”
Variety reported Friday that Core Media Group and FreemantleMedia, the production companies behind Idol, have settled on what was described as a preliminary “framework for an agreement” to put the show back on the air, possibly on Sunday nights. Calls to ABC, Core Media and FreeMantle were not immediately returned.
There is no official confirmation on who will host the show or serve as its celebrity judges. Several reports said Ryan Seacrest is still in consideration to serve as the show’s emcee, although this week he was named Kelly Ripa’s new co-host on “Live!” That show is taped in New York, where Seacrest is reportedly relocating; “American Idol” has always been filmed in Los Angeles.
After a 15-year run on Fox, “American Idol” went off the air in April 2016. The show produced stars Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson, as well as a string of musicians who continue to tour and produce records. It premiered as a summer show but became a ratings giant by its second season, attracting more than 38 million viewers for that season’s finale. By its 14th season, those numbers had dropped dramatically, with just over 8 million viewers tuning in for the season finale on May 13, 2015.
One “Idol” icon not likely to be part of the revival is Simon Cowell, who is the executive producer and a judge on “America’s Got Talent,” which airs on NBC.
The new “Idol” is said to be slated for a March 2018 debut.