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ABC is keeping the call sheet locked for American Idol‘s upcoming season, securing deals with its three judges and host.
Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, and longtime host Ryan Seacrest are all set to return to the singing competition as it readies its fourth season on ABC — its 19th overall. “American Idol has always been able to bring people together, entertain and inspire – and I am so proud of how this show continued to deliver joy and laughter into people’s homes during a time when we needed it the most,” said ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke. “There is no one who we feel more confident about leading us into a new season of high notes than Luke, Katy, Lionel and the incomparable Ryan Seacrest.”
Earlier in 2020, American Idol was the first reality competition to pivot to remote filming, airing Sunday nights in the early weeks of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Though ABC and producers Fremantle and 19 Entertainment are likely anticipating a more traditional production for the new season, auditions will be virtual. The show is currently hosting auditions across the country via Zoom.
“Katy, Lionel and Luke are fun, astute and really know how to spot talent,” said executive producer and showrunner Trish Kinane. “Their chemistry is undeniable, and we are delighted that they, along with host Ryan Seacrest, are returning to find the next superstar and take American Idol to new heights next season.”
American Idol remains a solid performer for ABC, outshining broadcast competitions on Sundays. Linear ratings declined only slightly this past season (along with most of the rest of network and cable TV). And with a week’s worth of delayed viewing, Sunday editions average a 1.5 rating in the key ad demographic of adults 18-49 and 8.41 million viewers.
“We are so grateful to the fans for sticking with us – and pushing us to No. 1 – during this most challenging of times. And we are thrilled to be able to welcome Ryan, Katy, Lionel and Luke back to help us discover our next American Idol,” said EP Eli Holzman, CEO of 19 Entertainment’s parent company Industrial Media. “At times like these, it is more important than ever to give families wholesome entertainment, packed full of hope, talent and inspiration – where dreams come true. And that is what American Idol is all about.”
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