'American Idol' Officially Returning to TV, Picked Up by ABC
By Jackie Willis
After 13 months being off the air and 15 seasons on Fox, American Idol will havea new premiere date and a new network.
The singing competition show has been picked up by ABC, which just so happens to be the same network that Idol host Ryan Seacrest is working for as Kelly Ripa's new co-host on Live. ABC is expected to spill more details on the show's revival (i.e. production location and judges) during its annual upfront presentation on May 16 in New York City.
"American Idol on ABC...that has a nice ring to it,” Ben Sherwood, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney|ABC, said in a statement. “Idol is an entertainment icon, and now it will air where it belongs, in ABC’s lineup of addictive fan favorites alongside Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor. America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder and better-than-ever Idol.”
As for Seacrest returning to Idol, a source close to FremantleMedia -- the production company behind the program -- told ET last week that it's "entirely possible to do American Idol in New York City," where Seacrest tapes Live during the week, as the show sees the 42-year-old TV host as "the glue that keeps the show together."
"A reboot without him is almost unthinkable," the source added. "The fans want the show to come back and they want it with Ryan.”
However, Seacrest later added, "I don’t know if I can host it. Do you know the preparation I have to do for [Live] every night?"
Ripa was in complete support of her new co-host returning to Idol, despite him already hosting a daily radio show and Live. "Yes you can, you can! I know that you’re busy in the mornings, I get it. I understand its hard doing double duty -- you’ve got the radio show, you’ve got this. But your nights are free you don’t have that much to do. You can do this!" she exclaimed. "You can disconnect for that! On the days where it is the day after, I will totally ...you won’t even have to think, I will do it all!"
A source also told ET on Friday that Seacrest was open to the idea of hosting the prime time singing show again. "Ryan has a lot of affection for American Idol, given the significance to his career and all the connectivity it has to the things he loves -- live, pop music, talent discovery, etc," the source shared. "There have been no formal discussions with Ryan about his involvement but I’m sure he would be open to it, in the right capacity in the scenario that fits the other pieces above.”
The source also noted that Seacrest's "priority is Live and his radio show."