It has not been long since American Idol ended its historic 15-season run on Fox but its revival is already under negotiations. The reboot, however, may not happen on its home network. Instead, NBC is kicking the tires on the once popular singing competition.
Variety reports producer Fremantle Media has pitched a potential American Idol reboot to NBC, one which might cut The Voice’s two yearly cycles to one. A person allegedly briefed on the plans told the news outlet that talks are already underway. But there’s no deal on the table just yet.
American Idol ran for 15 seasons, first debuting on Fox in 2002 and ended in 2016. It became the highest-rated show on television for eight consecutive seasons starting in 2003-2004. At its peak in 2006, the iconic reality show generated an average of 12.4 rating among in the 18-49 demographic and 36.4 million total viewers.
However, the show has seen its viewership consequently drop sharply in the later seasons. The final 2016 season, the singing contest only pulled in a still respectable but comparatively weak 9.1 million viewers. Sure, it had a good run yet there was only a decline going from there.
Fox’s Revival Plans
Fremantle Media had a preliminary conversation with Fox last month too. Fox TV Group chairman Gary Newman confirmed to Indie Wire, that the Idol producer came to talk to the network about its potential revival to no avail.
“To us, that didn’t make sense,” Newman said. “We didn’t call it the ‘last’ season as a marketing ploy. That’s what we perceived it as.” He adds it may affect the network’s credibility with its viewers. Fox apparently believes bringing it back to its lineup so soon, especially in the same form, just doesn’t make sense.
According to him, the show needs a proper resting period. “It was on the air in the 2015-2016 TV season. We’re only in the 2016-2017 season right now,” he continued. “I think that bringing shows back is difficult, particularly when you made a big deal about announcing it as a final season.”
Despite Fox’s refusal, Newman is still hopeful the show will indeed return to the network at some point in the future. As it debuted on Fox, the executive believes people would expect its return to happen at its home network as well.
American Idol Reboot
Still, NBC’s adoption of American Idol is a mere speculation at this point. Neither of the network nor Fremantle confirmed the reports.
Regardless, it’s no longer new for canceled shows to make a comeback. The Mindy Project, for example, found a home at Hulu after Fox axed it from its lineup. The soapy drama Nashville found a new home at CMT after airing on ABC. What’s rare, though, is a major network adopting a canceled show from one of its rivals this quick.
Any thoughts? Is American Idol better off at Fox? Or does it have a chance on NBC? Let us know in the comments below!