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In its 13 seasons on the air, American Idol only had a few constants that fans could depend on seeing from year to year. There was its central singing competition format and...well...host Ryan Seacrest. The Host with the Most (day jobs) was the one familiar onscreen face that stuck around for the entire run, and now that movements are quickly being made for a reboot at ABC, questions about Seacrest's involvement are widespread, especially with his brand new job. Amazingly, there's a legitimate chance the American Idol revival could one day re-team with its former host. But it's ridiculously complicated.
Last week, Ryan Seacrest was announced as the new permanent co-host for what is now called Live with Kelly and Ryan, which tapes in New York City. In putting the rebooted version together, ABC reportedly requested production company Freemantle Media allow American Idol to shift from its former Los Angeles location to NYC, so that Seacrest would have a far simpler way to handle hosting both series. Fremantle wouldn't budge on that issue, but according to TMZ, the execs are still very high on nabbing Seacrest as host. It appears the simplest plan to make that work would require ABC to turn American Idol into a Sunday/Monday night series, and for Seacrest to deal with an awful travel schedule.
This is all speculative, of course, but if American Idol aired on Sunday and Monday evenings, the live episodes would require Ryan Seacrest to pre-tape Live with Kelly and Ryan's Friday morning episode on Thursday in order to fly out to L.A. for the weekend. (Pre-taping Friday shows is nothing new for the long-running morning series.) Then, after doing Idol on Sunday evening, he'd have to fly back to New York for Live, to then fly back to L.A. that evening for the live results episode. And, you guessed it, he'd have to then fly back to New York that night to get Tuesday morning's episode off without a hitch. I'm tired of airports just thinking about it.
Now, even though all of that planning has apparently been conceived on Fremantle's part, there are some setbacks. First, no one has even reached out to Ryan Seacrest yet, which seems like a pretty big deal, even though he'd previously been interested. Second, ABC reportedly doesn't want anything on Sunday nights, and would prefer for American Idol to hit on Mondays and Tuesdays, so that it could compete directly against NBC's The Voice, which would be a bold move. It looks like a daunting impasse, but expect to hear something soon.
The American Idol reboot has been in the works seemingly since before the initial series ended, but ABC won out where other networks failed, and the network reportedly hopes to have more news about the revival when its Upfronts presentation occurs in a couple of weeks. The tentative plan would be to debut the revival in March 2018. Until we hear something more concrete, head to our summer TV schedule to see what's hitting the small screen in the coming months.