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'American Idol' -- Fox and NBC reportedly in bidding war to air the show's revival


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/29/2017 

American Idol will reportedly definitely be returning, with only which broadcast network will air it still in question.

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According to multiple sources, NBC and Fox are going toe-to-toe to bring American Idol back, TMZ reported.

Both networks reportedly want to stage Idol's comeback and have submitted bids to FremantleMedia, the production company which owns the show. A decision could be made by the end of this week.

Sources familiar with the situation told TMZ that NBC wants American Idol in part to resolve its scheduling issue with The Voice, which is currently airing its twelfth season.

The network doesn't want to oversaturate the market by continuing to air to editions of The Voice a year, and mainstay coach Adam Levine also allegedly wants to appear in only one season per year. After all, Adam is a new father and also serves as the frontman for the band Maroon 5.

If NBC wins American Idol as a result, it would reportedly rotate the former Fox reality singing competition with The Voice, and so each show would air only once a year.

As for Fox, the network reportedly never gave up on American Idol but just found it too expensive to continue to produce with its high-profile talent of Seacrest and judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban.

Regardless of which network comes out on top of this bidding war, Ryan Seacrest is favored to host American Idol again, according to TMZ.

American Idol's revival, which would allegedly feature a brand new panel of judges, may return in either Summer 2018 or mid-season 2019.

Fox was home to American Idol for each of its 15 seasons. As of February 2017, however, NBC was the leading candidate to air Idol's reboot, Variety reported. In addition to The Voice, NBC is also home to America's Got Talent and Lopez's upcoming reality competition World of Dance.

American Idol concluded in 2016 with Trent Harmon being crowned the last winner over La'Porsha Renae. The show premiered on Fox in 2002, and at the peak of its success in 2006, Idol drew an enormous 36.4 total viewers. Ratings, however, declined when the show neared its end. Its final season reportedly averaged only 9.1 million viewers.

Although Season 15 was referred to as American Idol's "farewell season," Seacrest hinted at a possible revival when speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour last year.

"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."

In addition, American Idol's fifteenth-season finale broadcast ended with Seacrest signing off with "Goodnight America... for now" -- an apparent reference to Idol creator Simon Fuller's then-recent admission that he expected American Idol would "certainly be coming back" at some point in the future.


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