Is NBC bringing back "American Idol"?

posted by Mark Robertson - 

NBC is in talks to resurrect “American Idol,” according to trade paper Variety.

Reportedly NBC has been pitched a revival of the long-running singing competition by producer Fremantle Media and is now mulling options for how to integrate the show into its programming slate. One possibility being considered: cutting NBC’s existing singing competition “The Voice” from two cycles a year to one.

Fremantle has been shopping an “Idol” revival in recent weeks, with NBC emerging as the leading candidate to become the new home of the long-running singing-competition series. Sources emphasize that talks are ongoing, and no deal is yet in place.  

An “American Idol” revival has been a subject of speculation since before the final season aired on Fox last year. Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in 2016, longtime host Ryan Seacrest discussed the show’s future even as he promoted what Fox had dubbed the “farewell season.”

“When you’ve got a franchise that has this kind of heritage and you’ve got a franchise that generates X amount of millions of people, if it sustains, does that mean it’s the end?” Seacrest said. “I’m not so sure.”

From a scheduling standpoint, it could be difficult for NBC to find a place for “American Idol” without making changes to its schedule. NBC is already loaded with talent competitions year-round, with “The Voice” premiering new cycles in fall and mid-season, and “America’s Got Talent” — produced by original “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell — reigning as the network’s biggest draw in summer. In July, NBC gave a series order to “World of Dance,” a dance competition series from another former “American Idol” judge, Jennifer Lopez, which has not yet been scheduled.

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