Fox Execs Are Pissed at ‘American Idol’ Producers for Rushing the Series’ Revival
All isn’t well in Idol Revival Land.
Fox TV chairman Dana Walden is not happy with the way that American Idol producer FremantleMedia is handling the reboot of the reality show on ABC only one year after Fox closed the curtains on the series.
She revealed in a phone call with reporters on Monday morning (May 15, 2017) that Fox also bid for the show revival alongside ABC and NBC, but that Fox wanted to reconsider the talent and wait until about 2020 to turn the lights back on. According to Walden, FreemantleMedia wanted to keep the talent the same but later agreed to hold off a few years on bringing the show to air. She said that the producers ultimately decided to abandon the hiatus due to financial reasons.
“They were determined to get this show back on the air as quickly as possible,” Walden said. “We spent about $25 million sending a clear message that it was the farewell season. It felt to us it would be extremely fraudulent to bring the show back quickly, that fans would not appreciate being told one thing and then having the show brought back right away.”
Walden explained that Fox told the producers that it was very clear that the ratings had dropped over 70 percent over the last four years. As a result, they were losing an “enormous amount of money” and asked them to make budget cuts. Fremantle refused to test out a new panel and said that they would rather end the series instead of making new changes in a new season.
“That’s when we decided to call it the farewell season,” she added, noting that Fox offered them the opportunity to make new changes in a revival of the show on their network.
“We thought it was too early to bring the show back. All of our research and all of our fan forums supported that notion. We did not see the fan excitement and enthusiasm for the show to come back that Fremantle did. We just had a different set of facts.” she concluded.
Rumors about Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry joining the new panel emerged since the news of the revival broke, but it’s since been confirmed that Clarkson will be a coach on The Voice instead. Kelly Ripa asked Ryan Seacrest if he would be a part of the revival during a recent episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan. He responded, “We haven’t gotten that far. This was news to me, actually, last week. I had said at the end of the series, ‘Goodbye for now,’ hoping somewhere it would come back.”