Two short years after its initial cancelation by Fox, American Idol is set to make its return to television on ABC. The reality singing competition was once a ratings giant for Fox when it premiered in the summer of 2002, hooking just under 10 million viewers. Audiences at home eagerly tuned in to see Simon, Paula and Randy judge, and in some cases, roast, contestants for their singing capabilities (or lack thereof). Now, viewers tuning into the newest reboot of the franchise can expect something a little different.
American Idol showrunner Trish Kinane said the show will no longer be exploiting the beloved "bad auditions." "It doesn't feel comfortable to put borderline unstable people up on stage and laugh at them," Kinane told the Hollywood Reporter. Exploiting "borderline unstable" people is one thing, but to nix the very foundation of what made Idol entertaining? It looks like the reality show is attempting to re-brand as a more serious singing competition, much like its own ratings rival NBC's The Voice.
Ryan Seacrest, who will be returning as host, said, "What was important to me [about the reboot] was that there were going to be stars on the show that were going to come on to collaborate and take this seriously and give the franchise what it deserves." The show's newest big-name judge, Katy Perry, also wanted to stress how committed she was to developing new talent. "Literally, we are wasting our time if we are not finding another star," said Perry. "I take it very seriously, sometimes to my detriment." Perry will join Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie as the new judging panel of American Idol.
Lucky for fans, Kinane said there'll still be room for some comical moments and offbeat contestants. "We want the humor, but we don't want the exploitation," she said. That's all well and good, but I'm left thinking about where all the William Hungs of the world be if not for that original American Idol format??