American Idol was once one of the biggest shows on television, and performance-based reality television wouldn't be what it is today without Idol. The show came to an end on its original home on Fox back in 2016, and there has already been chatter about possibly bringing the show back. Now, however, it looks like we won't be seeing any more American Idol for a while. Apparently, there has been too much conflict behind the scenes for a deal to be struck at either of the interested networks.
Both NBC and Fox reportedly made offers to reboot American Idol as soon as summer 2018. Both networks could have been a good fit, all things considered. Fox was the home of American Idol for 15 seasons, and there's likely still a built-in audience that would tune back on.
NBC has a successful singing competition series in The Voice, which at least proves that NBC audiences are more than willing to follow along with such a style of reality TV. NBC Reality president Paul Telegdy even recently revealed that the network could be interested in splitting the TV year between a season of The Voice and a season of Idol. TMZ reports that NBC also hoped to rotate American Idol and The Voice with America's Got Talent. It sounds like there was more than one market for a new version of American Idol. The problems arose when co-owners Fremantle and Core evidently could not agree enough to make a counter offer to either Fox or NBC.
Fremantle was apparently pushing for the NBC deal, at least partly because the company also owns America's Got Talent, and having both AGT and American Idol on NBC could be a pretty big deal for Fremantle. Core didn't respond well to pressure from Fremantle, feeling that there was a conflict of interest and Fremantle's real motivation was to turn America's Got Talent into the base for a "year-round talent competition."
Core's impression that Fremantle was focusing on AGT over American Idol meant that Core was not inclined to agree to Fremantle's push for a counteroffer to NBC. The conflict has not been resolved, and it seems that negotiations have come to an end for the time being. Neither Fox nor NBC will be getting American Idol any time soon.
Given how hot a commodity American Idol was in its heyday, however, I'm betting that we'll hear more rumblings of a reboot in the not-too-distant future. Who knows? Maybe Core and Fremantle just need a bit more time to get perspective on where Idol would best fit into the current primetime lineups on broadcast TV. We can only wait and see.