Ryan Seacrest revealed on today’s ‘Live with Ryan and Kelly’ broadcast that American Idol will return on Sunday, March 11, 2018, on ABC Network at 8 pm. The crowd cheered with joy as Kelly threw her hands in excitement. The round of applause indicated the show has been missed and the people are happy to know it’s making a comeback.
The groundbreaking series had a run of 15 seasons on Fox Network ending April of last year. Earlier in May, a little over a year after its finale, Seacrest claimed that the show will be making its return but did not finalize a date. The new judges would consist of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie. Former Idol judge, Simon Cowell, was initially asked to join the reboot but was adamant about staying far away from it telling Extra’s Terri Seymour, “I was asked to do it and the answer is no. I have no interest.”
Critics don’t blame him. Towards the end of the show’s run, their ratings significantly dropped and costs to keep the show going skyrocketed. At first, ABC had a budget of $50 million for the show’s restoration but has been forced to increase to meet the $25 million contract for Katy Perry. Ben Sherwood, ABCs President, is gambling on Perry’s appeal to the younger audience and willing to invest in the cause. Lionel and Luke reached an agreement of $7 million each.
The new kid on the block “The Voice” became a force that the organic talent pioneer couldn’t reckon with and are now attempting to rebrand their stardom. American Idol initially felt that ending the show would cultivate a demand among the die-hard fans but its overzealous return has been called “extremely fraudulent” by Fox executives. Now the baton has been passed down to ABC to fund a show that may not yet have gained its second wind.
American Idol has been running auditions since August and the hashtag #TheNextIdol has gone viral with over 300,000 posts. Stretching over 20 cities in the U.S., their most recent tryouts took place in Oakland, CA attracting 2,000 contestants. The show also encourages people to showcase their talents online through social media and their live stream platform.