“American Idol” is getting a revamp for its new season—at least in syndication.
The country’s top nonscripted weekly syndicated series, “American Idol Rewind,” will be added to TV Guide Channel’s lineup this fall. It also will undergo a format change, combining looks at “American Idol” seasons three and four with in-depth interviews with some of the series’ stars, including Carrie Underwood.
“This year will be more highlight-driven as we focus on the journeys of some of the contestants from seasons three and four who became household names,” said Tracy Verna Soiseth, executive producer of “American Idol Rewind.” “With some of the names ranging from Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia to Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice coming out of these shows, there is a lot of fun stuff for us to explore where you get to see the best and worst of ‘Idol,’ including [cult favorite] William Hung.”
“American Idol Rewind” averaged a 1.8 rating in syndication entering July, tops in its category, and will start the coming season with a new distributor, Trifecta Entertainment. In addition, it will appear on new stations in major markets, with the Fox O&Os having signed on for the show.
“Distribution of the series has been great and we expect to be above 95% for the new season,” said Hank Cohen, CEO of Trifecta. “Stations are excited about the changes to the show, and Tracy is putting together a more complete book as we rewind the journeys of people that audiences care about.”
Trifecta also recently sealed a deal with TV Guide Channel, which will run episodes of the series a week after they hit stations.
The new season will focus more on the memorable moments and unaired footage, from auditions to the finale. Season three takes the stage for the first half of “Rewind” and season four is the focus of the latter half. In addition, producers have planned a Carrie Underwood special for the final episode of the season.
“Carrie walks us through her ‘Idol’ experience from her audition to her win, and discusses with us the highs and lows she went through as part of the process,” said Ms. Soiseth. “She gets very specific with her greatest challenges and uncertain nights as well as what she thought about the competition.”
The series will offer exclusive interviews with the two seasons’ most memorable performers, who reveal how the competition affected them behind-the-scenes.
“‘Rewind’ has always been a phenomenal show, and we are now able to make the show the best it can be,” Mr. Cohen said. “‘American Idol’ is such a juggernaut that we can now give fans a show that better reflects what fans love about the show.”