ABC has a deal in place with producers FremantleMedia and Core Media Group to revive “American Idol.”
The broadcast network and the production companies have settled on a framework for an agreement to bring back the long-running singing-competition series. According to sources, ABC is eyeing a March premiere for the show, which would potentially air on Sunday nights, where ABC has struggled in recent seasons against NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and programming on Fox and CBS that benefits from a strong NFL lead-in. (ABC the only broadcaster of the Big Four that does not have an NFL package.)
Yet to be decided is whether or how longtime host Ryan Seacrest could return to the franchise. Last week, Seacrest was announced as the new co-host of ABC syndicated morning program “Live!” with Kelly Ripa. He is relocating to New York for the role.
The ABC deal would preclude the involvement of original judge Simon Cowell, who was rumored to be a possibility to rejoin the show at NBC, where he produces “America’s Got Talent” and has an exclusive agreement. One potential name that has been floated to join the revived series is that of Kelly Clarkson, the singer who won the first season of “Idol” and went on to achieve pop-star status.
ABC is expected to announce the return of “Idol” this month at its upfront presentation in New York.