'American Idol' Forges Ahead With Remote Live Shows

Contestants will perform at their homes, with judges and host Ryan Seacrest all conferencing in from their locations.
Gavin Bond/ABC
From left: Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Bobby Bones and Ryan Seacrest

American Idol is moving ahead with its live shows, with contestants, judges and host Ryan Seacrest all filming from their homes.

The live rounds will begin April 26 on ABC with the top 20 contestants. Seacrest will host from his home in Los Angeles, and judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan and in-house mentor Bobby Bones will also conference in remotely. The contestants will also perform from their homes.

The last member of the top 20 will be revealed Sunday with the second part of American Idol: This Is Me, a behind-the-scenes look at the remaining contestants. More details on how the live shows will proceed will be revealed closer to air, but viewers will still be able to vote for their favorites.

American Idol was one of hundreds of TV and movie productions that stopped work amid stay-home orders during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The singing competition had enough pretaped material to run through April 5, when the top 21 contestants were announced. The This Is Me installments, a mix of unseen footage and performance highlights, helped bridge the gap between the previously filmed material and the live shows.

American Idol is among the first primetime entertainment shows to resume production since the shutdown, although most late night programs have been up and running for a couple of weeks, and NBC's Saturday Night Live aired its first at-home episode over the weekend. 

CBS' legal drama All Rise is also planning a remotely filmed episode set during coronavirus quarantines that's scheduled to air May 4, but a number of primetime series had their seasons cut short by the production stoppage.