American Idol has not even been off the air for a year and ABC has already announced the music competition will be making a comeback on their network. Fox executives are not holding back that a reboot this soon is tough.
Fox wanted the reboot, however, not until 2020. “We had conversations about bringing it back in ’20,” revealed Fox’s Dana Walden. “We saw ‘20 as being a respectful amount of time for rebooting Idol for fans,” the Chairman and CEO added as Fox announced its 2017-2018 primetime schedule.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Walden criticized Idol producer FremantleMedia for bringing back the show so quickly after Fox’s heavily promoted farewell season just last year.
“We spent about $25 million sending a clear message that it was the farewell season. It felt to us it would be extremely fraudulent to bring the show back quickly, that fans would not appreciate being told one thing and then having the show brought back right away,” said Walden.
ABC is expected to launch its version next year. Walden detailed the network’s conversations with the producer, “We sat down with Fremantle just a month or two after it ended and they were determined to get it back on the air,” Walden admitted.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote that sources confirmed NBC was also in talks with producers FermantleMedia about possibly bringing back American Idol as well but NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said they ultimately decided they “didn’t need ‘Idol.'”
NBC re-booting Idol would have made sense because they would have had access to Simon Cowell since he has a deal with NBC. However, NBC has The Voice, another successful music competition show and did not have a need for an additional one.
Walden ended the conversation with media by saying, “We thought it was too early to bring the show back. All of our research and all of our fan forums supported that notion. We did not see the fan excitement and enthusiasm for the show to come back that Fremantle did. We just had a different set of facts.”
While ABC made the official announcement, no judge panels have been released at this time.