'American Idol' season 16 update: NBC announces American Idol revival — release date, schedule and other facts

By @ZeNovice on
American Idol 2018 revival
Show host Jennifer Lopez cries at the conclusion of the American Idol Grand Finale in Hollywood, California, April 7, 2016. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

An “American Idol” revival is on the cards, thanks to NBC which is currently in talks with Fremantle Media to resurrect the show. Long-time producer Freemantle and show creator Simon Fuller have reportedly pitched a 16th instalment of the series to the network. The broadcasting company is mulling options to fit in the show into its programming lineup. No deal has been sealed so far. Rest assured, fans will get to watch “American Idol” season 16 real soon.

The popular singing contest debuted in 2002 and continued to run for as long as 15 seasons. Since the farewell season last year, a revival has been in speculation. The show’s long-time host Ryan Seacrest talked about “American Idol’s” future at the 2016 Television Critics Association winter press tour.    

“When you’ve got a franchise that has this kind of heritage and you’ve got a franchise that generates X amount of millions of people, if it sustains, does that mean it’s the end?” Seacrest said, according to a Variety report. “I’m not so sure,” he added.

“American Idol” has been the highest-rated show on television after airing eight consecutive seasons since 2003, Variety reports. The show however kicked off back in 2002. The talent show peaked in 2006, with an average rating of 12.4 among viewers in the 18-49 demographic. Up to 36.4 million viewers watched the show, according to Nielsen-live-plus-same day numbers.  

Nevertheless, the reality show failed to leave a similar impression for the second half of its run. The series declined to a point where the ratings could no longer justify huge production costs. NBC’s current concern has been to get the show at a reasonable price. Negations are underway.   

Meanwhile Fuller, at the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in September, thanked Fox TV Group CEO Dana Walden. “Thank you for bringing the show back in 2018,” he said, as per a Deadline report. “We can’t wait to make it.”   

NBC’s current scheduling is already full with talent shows planned to run year-round. “The Voice,” “America’s Got Talent” and new series “World of Dance” have taken up space, leaving no room for an “American Idol” season 16 soon. 

"The Voice" season 12 has been scheduled to premiere Feb. 27  and will be airing Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c EST. In Australia, it airs Feb. 28 Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m. AEDT.  “World of Dance” is produced by former “American Idol” judge Jenifer Lopez.