Well, that was a short goodbye. American Idol is officially returning to TV, thanks to ABC. The network announced the news on Good Morning America on Tuesday, May 9, less than a week after rumors surfaced that the singing competition might be revived.
“American Idol on ABC…that has a nice ring to it,” Disney co-chairman Ben Sherwood 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.”
The series — and those cringeworthy tryouts — will air in the 2017-2018 season. “American Idol is a pop-culture staple that left the air too soon,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement. “ABC is the right home to reignite the fan base. We are thrilled viewers will once again share in these inspiring stories of people realizing their dreams.”
Not everyone is so enthusiastic about the news. Former Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, for one, told Variety, “They got their wish, but it feels a little too soon to bring it back.”
American Idol first debuted in 2002 with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson and ended with Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban on April 7, 2016. Further details about the revival, including whether host Ryan Seacrest will return, have not been disclosed.
Seacrest, 42, who recently became Kelly Ripa’s Live! cohost after a year-long search, discussed the AI reboot rumors with Ripa, 46, on Monday.
“I think this has to happen,” Ripa said during their daytime talk show. “I went into seclusion when American Idol was canceled. Are you going to host it? Please tell me yes.” Seacrest replied: “No, I don’t know about that part yet. We haven’t gotten that far. This was news to me last week. I had said at the end of the series, ‘Goodbye for now,’ hoping somewhere it would come back.”