It’s been nearly a year since we last heard Ryan Seacrest kicking off a show with “This is American Idol!” The long-running singing competition aired its final season in 2016, after a fifteen-year run of dominance. But for fans who are eager to see the series make a comeback, some good news might be on the way: NBC is apparently in talks with Fremantle Media for an American Idol revival.
According to reports, Fremantle has been offering the brand around, hoping for a network to pick up the show’s return. NBC has come out on top as the potential new host, though nothing has been finalized just yet.
Voice vs Idol
The most ironic thing about all this? NBC is also home to The Voice, the singing competition credited for unseating Idol. The Voice first aired in 2011, around the same time that American Idol took a sharp downward turn. Longtime judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul were missed after their departure. In their place, the bickering of The Voice’s Adam Levine and Blake Shelton was a surprising hit. The blind auditions element of The Voice was also a welcome change of pace from Idol’s familiar format.
Up until that year, Idol was enjoying cruising at the top. Between its 2003 to 2008, the show was hitting over 30 million viewers for its finale shows. In 2006, the show averaged 36 million viewers. Those numbers are unheard of these days for singing competitions and talent shows.
With the 2013-14 seasons hitting all-time lows in ratings, Fox finally decided to pull the plug. Ryan Seacrest ended the final episode saying, “Good night, America… for now.”
As The Voice airs two seasons per year, Variety suggests that NBC is considering cutting it down to one a year. That would, if ever, accommodate an American Idol revival. It would also ensure that the two shows don’t cannibalize each other for viewership.
See You In 2018?
Late last year, Idol’s showrunner Simon Fuller dropped the first hints of a revival when he accepted a special Governors Award at the Creative Arts Emmys. “It’s been 15 years, and this is the first Emmy we’ve actually won for the show. Can you believe that?” he said upon accepting the award.
He then turned to Fox Broadcasting CEO Dana Walden and added, with a playful smile, “Dana, thank you for bringing back the show in 2018. We can’t wait to make it.”
Fuller later commented that he was just being mischievous, and his comments didn’t really mean anything with regards to a real revival. But as they say, all jokes contain a bit of the truth.
Would you be excited for an American Idol revival? Sound off in the comments below and let us hear it!