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'American Idol' revival reportedly in the works, NBC "in talks" with FremantleMedia production company


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/09/2017 

American Idol, which had a home on Fox for 15 seasons, may be revived by NBC.

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Idol's FremantleMedia production company is in talks with NBC to bring American Idol back, Variety reported.

According to sources with knowledge of the discussions, FremantleMedia has pitched a revival of the long-running reality singing competition that discovered iconic artists including Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson.

The network is reportedly trying to figure out how American Idol could fit into its already-packed reality programming slate and one option is cutting The Voice down to one season per year rather than two.

Freemantle has reportedly been shopping an Idol revival to networks for weeks now, and NBC is currently the leading candidate. However, sources told Variety talks are ongoing and a deal has yet to be signed.

Representatives for both NBC and Fremantle declined comment on the matter.

American Idol concluded last year after 15 seasons on the air. The show premiered on Fox in 2002, and at the peak of its success in 2006, Idol pulled in 36.4 total viewers. Ratings, however, declined when the show neared its end. Its final season last year reportedly averaged only 9.1 million viewers.

Although Season 15 was referred to as American Idol's "farewell season," longtime host Ryan Seacrest hinted at a possible revival when speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in 2016.

"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 concluded 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.

NBC has a lineup of popular reality talent competitions, including its summer series America's Got Talent. The network also ordered World of Dance to be executive produced and judged by Jennifer Lopez -- although a premiere date has yet to be set.

The fifteenth winner of American Idol was Trent Harmon with La'Porsha Renae finishing as the runner-up.


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