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It was around this time last year that Fox announced American Idol would be ending after 15 seasons. This winter, the final season premiered and there are only a few more episodes set to air before the last winner is announced and Idol closes up shop for the last time. Or will it be the last time? This week, show creator Simon Fuller has stated he believes there is a future for American Idol. He even has an idea for the direction that a future iteration of Idol should take. Here’s what he had to say in a recent interview.
There will no doubt be another format or refinement or elevation of the format. Now I can actually revamp it and come up with a new version. And we can look back on 15 seasons and think of some legitimate ways to allow people to enjoy them again, maybe adding another dimension to it.
Simon Fuller is clearly looking ahead and his statements echo some thoughts Ryan Seacrest had about the series earlier this year. In his comments to THR, Fuller really does seem to believe there is a future for American Idol and he's spent a lot of time recently trying to figure out what that future could be. Obviously, Simon Fuller has had an incredible run in the reality sphere. He created American Idol and also serves as an executive producer on shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Q’Viva. If he wants American Idol to reboot, it’s not like he’s going to have any problem getting meetings set up. The real question is figuring out whether or not TV audiences have any appetite for more Idol in the future.
Right now, Simon Fuller even seems to have a plan in place for the direction he wants to take a potential Idol 2.0 in.
We debuted at the very beginning of the digital world. So the next generation of Idol will be a lot more interactive, a lot more immersive. For me the most exciting thing is we can really now dive deep with all the new technology that’s coming. My head is exploding with opportunities. The next generation of Idol -- and Idol will certainly be coming back for sure -- will have a youthful glow and it will be pioneering again, just as it was when we first began.
If American Idol does come back, obviously incorporating modern-day interactive components would be key. What I find most stunning about this statement is that Simon Fuller is so confident the American Idol franchise has a future, though. People are paying less attention to Idol now than they have at any other point in the show's history. Down the line, that narrative could certainly change, but right now it's hard to see how a reboot could gain interest anytime soon.
Look, American Idol probably has had more impact on the TV landscape than any other TV series that began in the new millennium. For years after Idol premiered, network TV inundated us with these rags to riches competition programs, to varying degrees of success. Among the singing competitions, at least, Idol has had more success with making names out of nobodies, with Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Adam Lambert, Katherine McPhee, Phillip Phillips and many more going on to have big careers. That time may be almost over at this point, but that doesn't mean that American Idol will be forgotten anytime soon. However, it also doesn't mean it necessarily needs to be rebooted.
American Idol: The Farewell Season is currently underway with judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. on board. You can learn more about the final season over on Fox's site.