American Idol, once the biggest show on television during its heyday on Fox, has not been a runaway ratings hit in its return. The ABC incarnation posted a series of ratings declines after the premiere and hit multiple franchise all-time lows before recently rebounding with the start of the live shows. It also was regularly topped by rival NBC singling competition The Voice on Monday. Still, American Idol is on track to finish as Sunday’s No. 1 entertainment broadcast series on each of its 8 telecasts this season in Live + Same Day Adults 18-49. On average, the series ranks No. 1 in its 2-hour slot with Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, across all key Women and Teens 12-17.
“We knew that American Idol on ABC would unleash an opportunity for singers from all walks of life to realize their dreams and that these incredible contestants would have America rooting for their success,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “I am thrilled that Katy, Luke, Lionel and Ryan will be back to once again embark on this Idol journey with us to discover the next crop of inspiring talent.”
ABC’s pickup of the singing competition ended a long saga of getting American Idol back on TV when the network closed a deal last year with FremantleMedia North America and CORE Media Group’s 19 Entertainment for a revival, two seasons after it ended its 15-season run on Fox. ABC then spent reported $20 million to lock in Perry as a judge.
“American Idol’’s return on ABC has shown once again that viewers love to discover and support raw talent,” said Trish Kinane, president of Entertainment Programming, FremantleMedia North America, executive producer and showrunner of American Idol. “Our new judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have brought huge credibility, energy and fun to the show this year, and we are so excited to continue the journey with Ryan Seacrest at the helm in the search for the next superstar.”
Idol’s relaunch on ABC was overshadowed by the sexual harassment allegations against Seacrest that resurfaces in the week leading to the show’s debut. ABC has stood by the veteran Idol host.
The top 7 finalists take the stage this Sunday in the live coast-to-coast broadcast at 8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT/7:00-9:00 p.m. CDT/5:00-7:00 p.m. PDT. (The episode will be rebroadcast for the West Coast at 8:00-10:00 p.m. PDT).