Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie join ‘American Idol’ as judges

September 29, 2017

Luke Bryan (Photo by Michele Crowe/CBS)
Lionel Richie (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC)

The following is a press release from ABC:

Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have signed on as judges for the beloved music competition series “American Idol” for its first season on ABC. They round out the panel of judges, alongside judge Katy Perry. Ryan Seacrest will return to host the series. The panel will make their debut appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, October 4.

“I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams,” said Bryan. “To be in a position in my career to help facilitate this along with the other judges is just a complete honor. It’s gonna be a blast!”

“I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke and Ryan on ‘American Idol,’” said Richie. “As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table. It’s going to be so much fun!”

“Luke and Lionel are the perfect additions to round out our panel of judges for ‘American Idol’ on ABC,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “In their respective genres of music, both Luke and Lionel possess insurmountable popularity and award-winning talent that are undeniable, and we are lucky that they will help in paving the way for hopefuls pursuing their dreams on our stage.”

Trish Kinane, president of Entertainment Programming, FremantleMedia North America, executive producer and showrunner of “American Idol,” said, “We have taken our time to get the right mix of amazing talent for the new Idol judging panel. Our viewers expect musical credibility, passion and a true concern for the contestants; and with Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie joining the brilliant Katy Perry, we have two more world-class musical powerhouses eager to get to work and identify the next generation of superstars.”

Peter Hurwitz, CEO and president of 19 Entertainment-parent Core Media Group, said, “This extraordinary panel of judges speaks volumes about the continued power of the iconic ‘American Idol’ brand. We are thrilled to have Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan join Katy Perry and, ultimately, millions of viewers as we begin this new era on ABC.”

Yesterday, Bryan kicked off his ninth annual Farm Tour performing in six cities through October 7. Since the tour’s inception in 2009, Bryan has awarded 50 scholarships to a local student from a farming family within the communities the tour has played. Bryan will also continue his Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour through October.

Bryan is a two-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, a five-time host of the ACM Awards and the 2017 Super Bowl LI national anthem performer. Luke has placed 18 singles at No.1, sold over 10 million albums and more than 40 million tracks with three billion music streams, and has performed for millions of fans on tour. He recently debuted a new single, “Light It Up,” which is the first song off a new album due out later this year.

Singer-songwriter, record producer and international superstar Lionel Richie has a discography of albums and singles that are second to none. His music is part of the fabric of pop music; in fact, Richie is one of only two songwriters in history to achieve the honor of having No. 1 records for nine consecutive years. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, four Grammy Awards®, the distinction of MusicCares person of the year in 2016, and Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017, the Tuskegee, Alabama, native is a true music icon.

Richie is known for his mega-hits such as “Endless Love,” “Lady,” “Truly,” “All Night Long,” “Penny Lover,” “Stuck on You,” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me,” “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and one of the most important pop songs in history, “We Are the World,” written with Michael Jackson for USA for Africa. His song catalog also includes his early work with The Commodores, where he developed a groundbreaking style that defied genre categories, penning smashes such as “Three Times a Lady,” “Still” and “Easy.”

Richie launched his Las Vegas headlining residency show, Lionel Richie – All the Hits, at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in April 2016. In an unforgettable evening featuring his brightest and best anthems which have defined the music icon’s unparalleled career, Richie takes his fans on a spectacular musical journey, performing a variety of his seminal hits. With his most recent All the Hits, All Night Long Tour, Richie sold out arenas worldwide with a set list of his brightest and best anthems. In recent years, he also headlined festivals including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Glastonbury, drawing the festival’s biggest crowd ever with more than 200,000 attendees.

When “American Idol” debuted in the U.S., the series revolutionized television, pioneering the reality-competition genre and holding an unmatched record for being the highest-rated series for nearly a decade. The series also ushered in second-screen audience participation, being the first to introduce text-based and mobile voting. The “Idol” format has taken on original versions in 55 countries around the world, and “American Idol” itself has played to a worldwide audience of over 460 million across 53 countries. At its new home on ABC, “American Idol” will continue to be a force in the television landscape, reaching every corner of the country in its search for the next great music sensation.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin along with co-executive producer, Megan Wolflick. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

Fox announces new singing competition ‘The Four’

August 8, 2017

Fox logo

Just over a year after cancelling “American Idol,” the Fox network has announced that it will debut “The Four,” a new singing competition, which will premiere in 2018 on  a date to be announced. “American Idol” is being revived on ABC in January 2018, with judge Katy Perry and host Ryan Seacrest as the on-air talent announced so far. “American Idol” was on Fox from 2002 to 2016.

Here is what Fox announced about “The Four” in a press release:

“The Four” begins where most competitions end: with the four finalists. Four super-talented and fiercely competitive singers, chosen from their auditions by the show’s panel of music industry experts, will try to defend their coveted spots on the stage, as they are challenged individually by new singers determined to replace them. Each week, if any of the four are outperformed, they’ll go home and their challengers will take their place.

And those challengers could be fans who had been sitting on a couch one week, and singing onstage the next. Viewers who think they’ve got the talent to compete and unseat the four singers onstage will have the opportunity to submit an audition video. America will have the chance to decide who is brought onto the show by voting on the available streamed auditions and influencing which challengers will take on “The Four” and shake up the competition.

If the existing four singers outperform their challengers, then they survive to sing another week, until the end of the season, when the singers have safely secured their spots on stage and face off against each other, resulting in one being named the winner. At stake is the ultimate prize: the panel of industry experts becomes key players on the winner’s team. This elite group of star-makers will help shepherd the winner’s career and be fully invested in making him or her a breakout star.

Expert panelists and additional information regarding “The Four” will be announced soon.

“The Four” was created by Armoza Formats and is produced by ITV Entertainment in association with Armoza Formats.  David George, Adam Sher, David Eilenberg, Jessica Sebastian-Dayeh, Simon Thomas, Becca Walker, David Friedman, Avi Armoza and Nehama Cohen will serve as executive producers.

2017 TV Upfronts: ABC announces 2017-2018 schedule; see photos and videos

May 16, 2017

by Carla Hay

Freddie Highmore in “The Good Doctor” (Photo courtesy of ABC)

ABC officially announced its 2017-2018 schedule during the network’s upfront presentation at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall in New York City on May 16, 2017. Most of the existing shows had previously been announced as renewed. However, the upfront presentation made it official that “Toy Box” has been cancelled.

ABC is also reviving its Emmy-winning comedy “Roseanne” for eight episodes in 2018, with all of the show’s original stars back on board: Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role.

New scripted shows include “Alex, Inc.,” “The Crossing,” “Deception,” “For The People,” “The Good Doctor,””The Gospel of Kevin,”  “Marvel’s Inhumans,” “The Mayor” and “Splitting Up Together,” “Ten Days in The Valley.” New reality shows are  “American Idol,” “The Bachelor Winter Games” and “Dancing With the Stars Junior.” Some of actors starring in these shows are known for being in past long-running hit shows. Kyra Sedgwick of “Ten Days in the Valley” formerly starred in “The Closer.” Freddie Highmore (“The Good Doctor”) previously starred in “Bates Motel.” Zach Braff (“Alex, Inc.”), who used to star in “Scrubs,” returns to a starring role on a TV series. Jenna Fischer (“Splitting Up Together”) is best known for being on the U.S. version of “The Office.” Jason Ritter (“The Gospel of Jason”) was a co-star of “Parenthood.”

There will be two new live musical event specials: “The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!’  and “Rolling Stone 50.”

Fall premiere dates will be announced at a later time. Please note that shows picked up but not listed on the schedule below will debut later in the 2017-18 season.

The following is an excerpt from an ABC press release:

ABC FALL 2017-18 SCHEDULE

All times listed are Eastern/Pacific Time.

MONDAY

8-10 p.m.        “Dancing with the Stars”
10-11 p.m.      “The Good Doctor”

TUESDAY

8-8:30 p.m.        “The Middle”
8:30-9 p.m.        “Fresh Off the Boat”**
9-9:30 p.m.        “Black-ish”***
9:30-10 p.m.       “The Mayor”
10-11 p.m.              “The Gospel of Kevin”

WEDNESDAY

8-830 p.m.        “The Goldbergs”
8:30-9 p.m.        “Speechless”
9:30-10 p.m.       “Modern Family”
9:30-10 p.m.       “American Housewife”***
10-11 p.m.              “Designated Survivor”

THURSDAY 

8-9 p.m.        “Grey’s Anatomy”
9-10 p.m.       “Scandal”
10-11 p.m.      “How to Get Away with Murder”

FRIDAY 

8-9 p.m.        “Once Upon a Time”***
9-10 p.m.      “Marvel’s Inhumans”
10-11 p.m.      “20/20”

SATURDAY 

8 p.m.        “Saturday Night Football”

SUNDAY 

7-8 p.m.        “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8-9 p.m.        “To Tell the Truth” ***
9-10 p.m.      “Shark Tank”***
10-11 p.m.     “Ten Days in the Valley”

** = new time period

*** = new day and time period

NEW DRAMA SERIES

“THE CROSSING”

Sandrine Holt, Steve Zahn and Natalie Martinez in “The Crossing” (Photo/Bob D’Amico/ABC)

Refugees from a war-torn country seek asylum in a small American fishing town, only the country these people are from is America—and the war they are fleeing hasn’t happened yet. As the government tries to uncover the truth behind this mysterious migration only one thing is certain: The lives of the people here—both the townspeople and these newcomers—will never be the same.  Writers Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie executive produce with Jason Reed.

“The Crossing” stars Steve Zahn as Jude Miller, Natalie Martinez as Reece, Sandrine Holt as Emma Ren, Rick Gomez as Nestor, Jay Karnes as Craig Lindauer, Marcuis Harris as Caleb, Simone Kessel as Rebecca, Kelly Missal as Hannah, Rob Campbell as Paul, Grant Harvey as Roy, Bailey Skodje as Leah, Jon D’Leo as Will, Luc Roderique as Bryce and Tommy Bastow as Marshall.

The pilot is directed by Rob Bowman. The series is from ABC Studios.

“DECEPTION”

Jack Cutmore-Scott in "Deception" (Photo by Giovanni Rufino/ABC)
Jack Cutmore-Scott in “Deception” (Photo by Giovanni Rufino/ABC)

When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion—the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career.  The series is from writer/executive producer Chris Fedak (“Chuck”) and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero and Sarah Schechter.  Illusionist David Kwong (“Now You See Me”) will co-produce.

“Deception” stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cameron Black/Jonathan Black, Ilfenesh Hadera as Kay Daniels, Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark, Amaury Nolasco as Mike Alvarez, Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon, Laila Robins as Special Agent Deakins and Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen.

The series is from Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House in association with Warner Bros. Television. “Deception” is directed by David Nutter, who is also executive producer.

“FOR THE PEOPLE”

Susannah Flood, Ben Rappaport and Rege Jean Page in “For the People” (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC)

Set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, aka “The Mother Court,” this new Shondaland drama follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country – all as their lives intersect in and out of the courtroom. The series is created by Shondaland’s Paul William Davies and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.

The series, from ABC Studios, stars Ben Rappaport as Seth Oliver, Susannah Flood as Kate Littlejohn, Wesam Keesh as Jay Simmons, Regé-Jean Page as Leonard Knox, Ben Shenkman as Roger Gunn, Hope Davis as Jill Carlan, Vondie Curtis-Hall as Judge Nicholas Byrne and Anna Deavere Smith as Tina Krissman.

“THE GOOD DOCTOR”

Freddie Highmore in “The Good Doctor”(Photo by Liane Hentscher/ABC)

Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, “Bates Motel”), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. The series is from David Shore (“House”), and “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-O” star Daniel Dae Kim.

The series stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Brown, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neal Melendez, Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Beau Garrett as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews and Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman.

The series is from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios. David Shore is writer and executive producer. Daniel Dae Kim, David Kim and Sebastian Lee are also executive producers. Seth Gordon directed the pilot and is also an executive producer.

“THE GOSPEL OF KEVIN”

Jason Ritter in “The Gospel of Kevin” (Photo by Ryan Green/ABC)

Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter, “Parenthood”), a cluelessly self-serving person, is on a dangerous path to despair. In a downward spiral, Kevin returns home to stay with his widowed twin sister (JoAnna Garcia Swisher, “Once Upon a Time”) and niece.  On his first night there, an unlikely celestial being named Yvette appears to him and presents him with a mission: to save the world.  A light drama from executive producers Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters (“Marvel’s Agent Carter,” “Resurrection,” “Reaper”).

“The Gospel of Kevin” stars Jason Ritter as Kevin Finn, JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Amy, J. August Richards as Nate, Chloe East as Reese, Dustin Ybarra as Tyler and India de Beaufort as Kristin.

The pilot is directed by Paul McGuigan. The series is from ABC Studios.

“MARVEL’S INHUMANS”

Eme Ikwuakor, Ken Leung, Anson Mount, Serinda Swan, Isabelle Cornish and Iwan Rheon. (Photo by Michael Muller/ABC)

“Marvel’s Inhumans” explores the never-before-told epic adventure of the royal family including Black Bolt, the enigmatic, commanding King of the Inhumans, with a voice so powerful that the slightest whisper can destroy a city. After the Royal Family of Inhumans is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Hawaii where their surprising interactions with the lush world and humanity around them may prove to not only save them, but Earth itself. The legendary comic book series will be brought to life in a way that has never been done before, as a version of the first two episodes will be shown globally in IMAX theaters for a two-week period beginning September 1, 2017. ABC will then air the entirety of the series on the network, with additional exclusive content that can only been seen on ABC.

“Marvel’s Inhumans” stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Iwan Rheon as Maximus, Serinda Swan as Medusa, Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon, Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, Ken Leung as Karnak, Ellen Woglom as an undisclosed character, Sonya Balmores as Auran and Mike Moh as Triton.

The series is executive produced by Scott Buck, along with Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory with Buck serving as showrunner.  Roel Reiné will direct the first two episodes. This series is a Marvel and IMAX project and is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios.

“TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY”

Kick Gurry, Kyra Sedgwick and Erika Christensen in “Ten Days in the Valley” (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC)

“Ten Days in the Valley” stars Kyra Sedgwick as Jane Sadler, an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a separation whose life is turned upside down when her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. Just like her controversial police TV show, everything is a mystery, everyone has a secret and no one can be trusted.

“Ten Days in the Valley” stars Kyra Sedgwick as Jane Sadler, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as John Bird, Kick Gurry as Pete Greene, Erika Christensen as Ali Petrovich, Felix Solis as David Gomez, Josh Randall as Tom Petrovich, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Matt, Abigail Pniowsky as Lake and Francois Battiste as Gus.

“Ten Days in the Valley” is from Skydance Television. It is created and written by Tassie Cameron. Executive producers are Tassie Cameron, Kyra Sedgwick, Jill Littman, Dana Goldberg, David Ellison and Marcy Ross.

NEW COMEDY SERIES

“ALEX, INC.”

Audyssie Jame,, Elisha Henign, Tiya Sircar, Zach Braff, Hillary Anne Matthews and Michael Imperioli in “Alex, Inc.” (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

Based on the podcast StartUp, Alex Schuman (Zach Braff, “Scrubs”) is a brilliant radio journalist, husband and father of two who is about to do something crazy – quit his job and start his own company. He quickly discovers it’s going to be a lot harder than he thought. Zach Braff stars, directs and is executive producer with Matt Tarses (“Scrubs”) and Davis Entertainment (“Dr. Ken,” “Blacklist”).

Matt Tarses is writer and executive producer. Zach Braff is director and executive producer. John Davis and John Fox are executive producers of the series, from Davis Entertainment, as are Alex Blumberg, Chris Gilberti  and Matt Lieber (Gimlet Media) in association with Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios.

“THE MAYOR”

Brandon Micheal Hall, Yvette Nicole Brown, Bernard David Jones, Marcel Spears and Lea Michele in “The Mayor” (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

Young rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) needs his big break. For years he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century—running for mayor of his hometown in California to generate buzz for his music career. Unfortunately for Courtney, his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: an election victory. With the help of his mother (Yvette Nicole Brown, “Community”) and friends, including Valentina (“Glee’s” Lea Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his hubris if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.

The series stars Brandon Micheal Hall as Courtney Rose, Lea Michele as Valentina, Bernard David Jones as Jermaine Hardaway, Marcel Spears as TK and Yvette Nicole Brown as Dina.

From executive producer Daveed Diggs (Tony winner for Broadway’s “Hamilton”), writer/executive producer Jeremy Bronson (“Speechless,” “The Mindy Project,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) and executive producer Jamie Tarses (“Happy Endings”), the series is from ABC Studios. The pilot is directed by executive producer James Griffiths (“black-ish”).

“SPLITTING UP TOGETHER”

Van Crosby, Jenna Fischer, Sander Thomas, Oliver Hudson and Olivia Keville in “Splitting Up Together” (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

Based on the Danish series, “Splitting Up Together” is the story of a couple (Jenna Fischer, “The Office,” Oliver Hudson, “Scream Queens”) whose marriage is reignited by their divorce. Emily Kapnek (“Suburgatory”) writes and serves as executive producer of this new comedy, along with Ellen DeGeneres.

The series stars Jenna Fischer as Lena, Oliver Hudson as Martin, Bobby Lee as Arthur, Diane Farr as Maya, Lindsay Price as Camille, Olivia Keville as Mae, Van Crosby as Mason and Sander Thomas as Milo.

Jeff Kleeman, Mette Heeno, Mie Andreasen and Hella Joof are also executive producers of “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the original series created by Heeno. It is produced by A Very Good Production and Piece of Pie Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Dean Holland directed the pilot.

NEW ALTERNATIVE SERIES

“AMERICAN IDOL”

ABC is bringing back “American Idol.” The network, along with producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group, will revive television’s most successful and recognized music competition series for the 2017-2018 season, bringing back the fan-favorite and making more dreams come true. A host and judges will be announced at a later time.

“American Idol”‘s profound effect on the music industry is far-reaching and continually growing, launching the careers of superstars Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee, Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, among many others.  “American Idol” contestants have sold more than 60 million albums, resulting in more than 80 Platinum records and 95 Gold records. Its participants have generated more than 450 Billboard No. 1 hits and sold more than 260 million digital downloads.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

“THE BACHELOR WINTER GAMES”

America’s favorite participants from past seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” from arch rivals to villains, will take competitive dating to a chilling new level. In an ode to the Winter Olympic Games and slated to premiere in February 2018, “The Bachelor Winter Games” will reunite the all-stars at a luxurious winter resort, where they will go head-to-head in winter-themed athletic challenges, including the toughest sport of all—love.

“The Bachelor Winter Games” is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton to executive produce.

“DANCING WITH THE STARS JUNIOR”

A fresh new take on an established favorite, “Dancing with the Stars Junior” will pair celebrity kids and kids of celebrities with professional junior ballroom dancers to perform choreographed routines, which will be judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, to be announced at a later date.

Slated to debut in Spring 2018, “Dancing with the Stars Junior” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions.

NEW SPECIALS

“THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY: THE LITTLE MERMAID LIVE!”

In a two-hour special event, ABC will take the iconic “The Little Mermaid” animated feature film and intertwine it with show stopping LIVE musical performances via cutting-edge technology for an explosive evening honoring one of Walt Disney’s most celebrated classics. Fans of “The Little Mermaid” and Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s Oscar-winning songs will enjoy this never-before-seen live action/animation hybrid television experience featuring a soon-to-be announced roster of some of their favorite celebrity artists, whose performances will weave seamlessly throughout the original animated film.

“The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!” is set to premiere on Tuesday, October 3. The special is produced by Done + Dusted with Hamish Hamilton, Ian Stewart, David Jammy, Katy Mullan, and Richard Kraft, of Kraft-Engel Productions, serving as executive producers.

“ROLLING STONE 50”

For half a century, Rolling Stone has remained an iconic and important voice in American music, culture and politics. Now, the people who have told their stories through the Rolling Stone lens are coming together to reflect on the last 50 years. “Rolling Stone 50” will pay homage to the brand’s influence and impact through a curated journey of its most seminal moments. Live from New York City, the three-hour special television event, set to debut Wednesday, February 7, 2018, will showcase live performances, short films, iconic on-stage moments, never-before-seen musical pairings, and celebrities that have shaped pop culture, music and politics.

The special is a production of Done + Dusted and Wenner Media. Jann Wenner and Gus Wenner of Wenner Media and Ian Stewart, David Jammy and Katy Mullan of Done + Dusted serve as executive producers.

‘American Idol’ revival: How bringing back the show will affect reality TV

May 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

ABC is reviving “American Idol,” which will return in the 2017-2018 season, according to an announcement made by the network.  A press release states that ABC has “closed an agreement with producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group … A host and judges will be announced at a later time.”

The original incarnation of the singing contest “American Idol” was televised on Fox from 2002 to 2016. During 2003 to 2006, “American Idol” was the highest-rated TV show in the United States, garnering an average of 27 million viewers per episode when the show was at its peak. “American Idol” was responsible for making several of its participants world-famous, including original judge Simon Cowell, host Ryan Seacrest and former “American Idol” winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Other former “Idol” contestants who went on to great success include Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Jordin Sparks, Chris Daughtry and Fantasia Barrino. Fox ended the show due to declining ratings and high production costs.

During “American Idol’s” original run, ABC tried and failed several times to have its own hit music-based talent contest by offering forgettable flops such as “Rising Star” (2014), “Duets” (2012) and “The Next Great American Band” (2007). Fox also attempted to duplicate the success of “Idol” with the U.S. version of “The X Factor,” which lasted from 2011 to 2013 before it was cancelled because of disappointing ratings.

In 2011, the singing contest “The Voice” premiered on NBC, and became an immediate hit with viewers and critics.  While “Idol” faltered and “The X Factor” faded away, “The Voice” became the highest-rated singing talent contest in the United States, although “The Voice” could never have the blockbuster ratings that “American Idol” had in its heyday. There were some reports that NBC was in talks to bring “American Idol” to the network, but in the end, it looks like NBC didn’t want to make the same mistake that Fox did with “The X Factor,” by having two major singing contests on the same network.

The original stars of “American Idol,” pictured clockwise from left: judge Simon Cowell, host Ryan Seacrest, judge Randy Jackson and judge Paula Abdul, (Photo courtesy of Fox)

Seacrest has publicly stated that he wants to host “American Idol” again. He recently signed on to host the New York-based “Live” daytime weekday talk show with Kelly Ripa, so it’s unknown how he could work Los Angeles-based “American Idol” into his schedule. “Live” is distributed by ABC, and Seacrest has a long relationship with ABC; he also hosts ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”

Cowell is unlikely to return to “Idol” since he’s under contract to be a judge and executive producer on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Other past “American Idol judges include Paula Adbul, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.

“The Voice” has invested in getting major current hitmakers to sit on the judges’ panel, including Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5), Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus and Cee-Lo Green. The right group of judges who are still relevant in the music industry has been the key to the success of “The Voice,” which has won multiple Emmys, so it will be interesting to see if the new “American Idol” will copy that same strategy.

“The Voice” has a winning formula so far, and it is unlikely to change that formula because “American Idol” is being revived. What will likely change are some familiar aspects of “American Idol” in order to distinguish it from the Fox version of the show. It remains to be seen if ABC’s “American Idol” will surpass the ratings of “Dancing With the Stars,” which is currently ABC’s highest-rated reality show.

May 16, 2017 UPDATE:

Katy Perry at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12, 2017. (Photo by Phil McCarten/CBS)

ABC has officially announced that Katy Perry will be a judge on the rebooted “American Idol.” Perry issued this statement: “I am honored and thrilled to be the first judge bringing back the ‘American Idol’ tradition of making dreams come true for incredible talents with authentic personalities and real stories. I’m always listening to new music, and love discovering diamonds in the rough – from mentoring young artists on my label, or highlighting new artists on my tours, I want to bring it back to the music.”

JULY 20, 2017 UPDATE:

Ryan Seacrest
Ryan Seacrest at the 89th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017. (Photo by Mike Baker/©A.M.P.A.S.)

As expected, ABC has announced that Ryan Seacrest will return to host “American Idol.”

Here is the press release:

A household name from his decades on radio and television as an award-winning host and producer, Ryan Seacrest is confirmed to host the beloved music competition series “American Idol” for its first season on ABC. Kelly Ripa announced it today on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” Seacrest had a long run with “Idol,” having served as host for the franchise since its inception in 2002.
Since first stepping onto the iconic “Idol” stage, Seacrest has become a fixture in pop culture and media, most recently signing on as co-host and an executive producer of Disney|ABC’s top-rated, nationally syndicated “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” which he will continue to host from New York.  Seacrest also hosts and executive produces ABC’s annual live show, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.”

Seacrest will also continue hosting and executive producing “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” his market-topping No. 1 nationally syndicated L.A. morning drive-time radio show for iHeartMedia’s 102.7 KIIS-FM, as well as a nationally syndicated Top 40 radio show from his iHeart studio at New York’s ABC7, home of “Live.”Now, with “American Idol” at its new home, Seacrest will help reinvigorate the series that pioneered a new genre of television, staying true to the heart of the show by sharing inspiring stories and turning dreams into reality.

“It’s genuinely hard to put into words what ‘American Idol’ means to me,” said Seacrest. “I’m so grateful for the show and all the career and life opportunities it’s allowed me to experience. It’s been an incredible journey from day one. To be asked to return this year, at my new home at Disney|ABC, is an honor, if not a bit surreal. I believe ABC is the perfect home for ‘Idol,’ and I’ve every confidence the show’s legions of fans will love it – especially ‘Idol’’s best traditions of showcasing heartwarming stories, remarkable talent discovery, and, best of all, making dreams come true.”

“We are thrilled to be ushering in this new era of ‘American Idol’ with Ryan at the helm,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “So much of ‘American Idol’’s overwhelming success can be attributed to Ryan, whose larger-than-life personality and laudable dedication to creating quality entertainment has made him a true master of his craft. His talent is limitless, and I can’t think of a more appropriate person to honor the ‘Idol’ legacy as it takes on new life than the man who has been there through it all.”

Trish Kinane, president of Entertainment Programming, FremantleMedia North America, executive producer and showrunner of American Idol, said, “American Idol is back and already on the road searching to find the next generation of superstars. Idol has always been about the contestants and the music, and we couldn’t be more excited to start this next chapter – first with the incredibly talented new judge, Katy Perry, and now our own series icon, Ryan Seacrest. We’re delighted that he’s joining us and ABC as we set out to uncover the amazing talent America has to offer.”

“‘Idol’ wouldn’t be ‘Idol’ without Ryan,” said Core Media Group CEO Peter Hurwitz. “He is a natural who has been there from the start, shines on live television and has dominated in every one of his professional endeavors. The show’s millions of devoted fans will be delighted to welcome him back to center stage on ABC.”

The nationwide search for the next superstar kicks off on Thursday, August 17, as the Idol Bus tour jumps into gear across America, offering hopefuls the chance to audition for a shot at superstardom.  Please visit www.americanidol.com for more details on specific audition locations, full eligibility requirements, submission forms, terms and conditions.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin along with co-executive producer, Megan Wolflick. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

Copyright 2017-2022 Culture Mix
CULTURE MIX