Fox executives have some complicated feelings about “American Idol” — specifically, the recently announced rebooted version of “American Idol,” which will air on ABC next season.
After 15 seasons on Fox, the long-running singing competition wrapped up last May. On a conference call Monday, in which Fox unveiled its new fall schedule, Fox Television Group chief executive Dana Walden said it “feels bad” knowing that the series — particularly an iconic one that’s so connected to the Fox brand — is being revived on another network.
Although Fox executives talked with producers from FremantleMedia about bringing the show back, she said, ultimately, they felt it didn’t make sense to revive a show after they spent $25 million promoting the “farewell season.”
“It felt … it would be extremely fraudulent to bring the show back quickly, that our fans would not appreciate being told one thing and then have the show brought back right away,” she said. “We and Fremantle just had very different points of view.”
Walden said that after the show’s ratings dropped 70 percent over four seasons (“the network was losing an enormous amount of money”), they met with Fremantle producers to make some trims, or test out a new panel of judges. However, Walden said, Fremantle didn’t want to start the arduous process of trying to find new judges, and were happy with the trio of Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban — and decided they would rather “rest” the show rather than make significant changes.
But after the series finale aired, she said, Fremantle was “determined to get this show back on the air as quickly as possible”; Fremantle’s parent company announced it lost revenue after the cancellation of “Idol.” While Fox kicked the idea around, executives proposed possibly bringing the series back in 2020, an “appropriate” amount of time off the air. Fremantle wasn’t interested in waiting, she said, and thought a new home on ABC was a good opportunity.
Meanwhile, Fox hopes to make an impact this fall with several new shows, including “The Gifted.” The network’s first Marvel series, the show chronicles an everyday suburban couple who discover their children have mutant superpowers. Futuristic sci-fi drama “The Orville,” a live-action passion project from Fox’s beloved animation creator Seth MacFarlane, stars MacFarlane as a commanding officer on a spaceship. And comedy “Ghosted,” airing Sunday night after “The Simpsons,” features Craig Robinson (“The Office”) and Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”) as a detective and a genius, respectively, who have to save the world from aliens.
As for Fox’s recently rebooted shows “24” and “Prison Break,” neither is technically canceled, but the network doesn’t have any current plans to bring them back. Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology “Scream Queens,” which lasted two seasons, is officially done. But don’t feel sorry for the uber-producer — in midseason, Fox will debut a new Murphy drama called “9-1-1,” about the lives and careers of first responders.
Also held for midseason: The next chapter of “The X-Files,” which will return for another 10-episode revival in 2018 with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, reprising their roles as Agents Mulder and Scully.
FALL 2017 PRIME-TIME LINEUP ON FOX
New shows are in bold.
8 p.m. “Lucifer” *
9 p.m. “The Gifted”
8 p.m. “Lethal Weapon” *
9 p.m. “The Mick” *
9:30 p.m. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” *
8 p.m. “Empire” *
9 p.m. “Star”
8 p.m. “Gotham” *
9 p.m. “The Orville”
8 p.m. “Hell’s Kitchen”
9 p.m. “The Exorcist”
7 p.m. NFL on Fox
7:30 p.m. “The OT”/”Bob’s Burgers”
8 p.m. “The Simpsons”
8:30 p.m. “Ghosted”
9 p.m. “Family Guy”
9:30 p.m. “Last Man on Earth”
* Moved to a new time slot