Reboots and revivals are just about everywhere on TV nowadays, and some of them have brought long-finished shows back after many years of hiatus. In the case of American Idol, however, the show hasn't necessarily been off the air long enough for many people to have missed it. Still, a reboot is moving forward at ABC, and former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has some thoughts about it, saying this:
They got their wish, but it feels a little too soon to bring it back. . . . [You resurrect a series] when there is public demand that it come back.
A number of networks were looking into bringing American Idol back. The battle originally seemed to be between NBC and Fox, both of which reportedly made offers to reboot the series. Co-owners Fremantle and Core couldn't agree for various reasons on either, and it ended up being ABC that won the rights for a reboot. The deal was officially announced on May 9, which is only a little over a year since the original run of the series on Fox. I'd say that Nigel Lythgoe definitely has a point in his comments that the reboot comes before public demand really had a chance to build.
That said, Nigel Lythgoe did go on in his chat with Variety to reveal that it wasn't lowered ratings that resulted in American Idol's cancellation in 2016; rather, the cost of filming and paying the hosts "was the reason why they let Idol go -- the viewership numbers were great; certainly by today's standards." He believes that there are ways that a new network could reduce costs right off the bat, including keeping production in-house and only producing "a short run." All things considered, the former executive producer isn't altogether pessimistic about the ABC reboot; he just seems to think that it was unnecessary at this point.
We'll have to wait and see how different the ABC version is from the Fox version. A lot may depend on who the network taps for hosting duties. Despite my pitch for poor Brian Dunkleman to land the job, it seems that Ryan Seacrest is a top contender. The complication comes from the fact that Seacrest just signed on to partner with Kelly Ripa for Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is a gig that will keep him busy. Still, Live is produced by ABC, so it's not necessarily unfeasible that the network would allow him to budget his time between hosting American Idol and co-hosting Live with Kelly Ripa.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in American Idol news, and don't forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well. Our TV season finale schedule can give you all you need to know about your shows ending.