A deal is in place between ABC and FremantleMedia to bring “American Idol” back to TV on the Alphabet Network, Variety reports.
“The broadcast network and the production company have settled on a framework for an agreement to bring back the long-running singing-competition series,” Variety reports. “According to sources, the Alphabet is eyeing a March premiere for the show, which would potentially air on Sunday nights, where ABC has struggled in recent seasons against NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ and programming on Fox and CBS that benefits from a strong NFL lead-in. The Alphabet is the only broadcaster of the Big Four that does not have an NFL package.”
One of the remaining unknowns is whether Ryan Seacrest will return to his role as host. “Seacrest this week was announced as the new co-host of ABC syndicated morning program ‘Live!’ with Kelly Ripa,” Variety notes. “He is relocating to New York for the role — a move that presents a substantial obstacle to a return as host of ‘Idol,’ which has always filmed in Los Angeles.”
The report notes that the deal is not yet closed.