UPDATED, 5:45 PM: We reported yesterday that ABC was close to an agreement on an American Idol reboot. The two sides indeed are getting closer, but there is no deal in place. I hear main deal points have been agreed upon though there is still work to be done. And, in yet another twist in the American Idol reboot saga, I hear the producers also have received an offer from Fox. The offer, first reported by TMZ. is said to be very real and aggressive, and I hear there is a mandate from high up at 21st Century Fox to get Idol and not let it go elsewhere. Observers still believe that ABC has the upper hand and a deal for the revival is likely to close there before the upfronts.
PREVIOUSLY, May 4: The behind-the-scenes drama of trying to mount an American Idol revival deserves its own reality series. ABC is now in negotiations with FremantleMedia North America and CORE Media Group about bringing back the long-running singing competition for a new season.
Idol’s original network, Fox, also had been in on-and-off conversations about the proposed reboot. It is unclear if they are still ongoing but ABC is considered the likely new Idol home. That is of course if the hurdles that tripped previous attempts to mount an Idol redo can be overcome and a deal can be made. I hear things look promising, with sources indicating that ABC is close to an agreement. An announcement could be made as soon as the upcoming May upfronts.
NBC holds two major pieces of the Idol legacy — it has deals with original Idol judge Simon Cowell and one of the judges from Idol’s final seasons, Jennifer Lopez.
Meanwhile, ABC has in the extended corporate family Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who just was named co-host and executive producer of the syndicated Live With Kelly & Ryan, produced by WABC-TV and distributed by Disney/ABC. I hear Seacrest, who is now based in New York, has not been formally approached yet about possible involvement in the proposed Idol revival. He is currently focused on Live and his daily radio show though he has expressed publicly his affection for the TV show that made him a star, so he would likely be open to it, sources say.
ABC has tried unsuccessfully to launch a music competition series with such shows as Duets and Rising Star.