Is American Idol returning in 2018? No, or at least, Fox is definitely not planning a revival any time soon. However, that didn’t stop creator Simon Fuller from kidding around — maybe with a side of faking it until you’re making it — about the show’s return while accepting the TV Academy’s Governors Award bestowed on American Idol tonight during the Creative Arts Emmys.
“Thank you for bringing the show back in 2018,” Fuller said onstage, addressing his comment to 20th Century Fox Television chairman and CEO Dana Walden, onstage with him for the award. “We can’t wait to make it.”
Walden didn’t add anything to that except polite smiles, but Fuller doubled down shortly after. After thanking executive producer Trish Kinane and naming her as the person in whose hands the future of the Idol franchise rests, Fuller said “see you in 2018!” to the audience as he left the stage.
Perhaps he was just jazzed up and feeling cheeky thanks to the show receiving its second Governors Award from the Academy (it previously won in 2007). Or by the fact that tonight the show also won its first proper Emmy: for lighting design and direction. “It’s been 15 years and this is the first Emmy we’ve actually won for the show — can you believe that?” he quipped at one point. But it’s worth noting that Fuller has been actively talking up a revival or reboot of Idol for the better part of a year since it was announced the most recent season would be its last.
Making his jokes tonight, and seeing how fans respond to them, might — we stress might — be a means of convincing Fox there’s still a lot of interest.
We have no idea of course, but Fox no doubt would probably find such interest, well, interesting. As the TV Academy’s Bruce Rosenblum said while handing the award out, “Its enormous audience may be the last of its kind.” In an era with so many channels creating programming tailored at such niche (compared to previous eras) audiences, that may well be true.