American Idol has only been gone a year, but ABC and Simon Fuller are bringing it back.
ABC and Idol producers FremantleMedia and CORE Media Group have settled on an agreement to bring the popular singing-competition series back, Variety reports. ABC is apparently eyeing a March premiere, and potentially in a Sunday night time slot to counter NFL programming on the other networks. The series, which aired its finale on April 7th of last year, has never really been dead. A revival was being pitched around before its fifteenth and final season had wrapped.
ABC, NBC and Fox (the series original home) were all in competition for the Idol rights from the first pitch. Fox, which had first negotiation right, was pitched the revival first. The network ended up turning it down because Fox was concerned that it was too soon to bring the series back without serious re-formatting. That left ABC and NBC in competition with one another, but Fox, feeling left out, eventually jumped back into the fray. Now ABC appears to be victorious, though Deadline reports that Fox may have snuck an offer in once again.
ABC would benefit from Idol in part due to its relationship with former Idol host Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest was just named co-host and executive producer of WABC-TV’s Live with Kelly & Ryan. Seacrest has not been approached about hosting the Idol revival, and he is focused on Live at the moment. One possible host that has been mentioned is season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson.