In an upfront call today Kevin Reilly confirmed our story that American Idol will reduce its hours and change its air pattern for the upcoming fourteenth season. Touting a “more streamlined” format, he said that Season 14 will be 37 hours, about two-thirds of the current run of close to 60 hours. Next season will likely kick off with the traditional twice-weekly pattern during the audition rounds before transitioning to a “two hour show on one night for most of its run,” Reilly said. He also confirmed that “we’re getting good indication from all” of the current judges that they will return next season. Reilly dismissed a notion that Fox is looking for an Idol turnaround. “It will not come back to being the rating champion it once was but… it can be a vital, potent unscripted show in its time period, like CBS’ Survivor,” he said. “That’s the mode we’re in and we believe [Idol] will be on the air for many years to come.”
Also on the call, Reilly confirmed that Sleepy Hollow’s second season would consist of 18 episodes that will air mostly uninterrupted. The order for new Batman prequel series Gotham is for 16 episodes. “It hasn’t been written in stone tablets that TV has to be done in 13 and 22-episode increments,” Reilly quipped, adding, “We handcraft them here at Fox.”
Reilly hinted the possibility that the final season order for Glee, currently at 22 episodes, could be trimmed, especially with the show not on the fall schedule. “We’re going to sit down and talk [with exec producer Ryan Murphy] about how to end the show and how many that is,” he said. He also confirmed that the network’s upcoming remake of the British drama Broadchurch, event series Gracepoint, will have a different ending than the original.