For years, American Idol was a television ratings behemoth, crushing every show in its path. The show also produced an impressive number of stars, starting with Kelly Clarkson in its very first season. But when the ratings continued to decline year after year, FOX finally decided to put the show out to pasture. Now, American Idol could be back — this time on NBC.
New reports say that NBC is in talks with American Idol‘s owners, FremantleMedia, to revive the series. Fremantle has been pitching a new version of Idol for several weeks now, and NBC is said to be considering how to make the show work with the network’s existing programming.
One option apparently under consideration is to limit NBC’s similar singing competition The Voice to one season per year instead of two. The Voice remains NBC’s top show (outside of football), but its ratings have also begun to decline in recent years.
NBC also has the competition series America’s Got Talent on their schedule, which is produced by former Idol mainstay Simon Cowell. Another former Idol judge, Jennifer Lopez, has a new dance competition coming to NBC as well, titled World of Dance.
American Idol ran for 15 seasons on FOX from 2002-2016. It was based on the British show Pop Idol, which is where audiences first got their taste of caustic judge Simon Cowell. Pop Idol lasted only two seasons before Cowell left to create his own similar show, called The X Factor. While that show remains a popular series in the UK, Cowell’s attempt to create an American adaptation never caught on with audiences and was canceled after three seasons.
The Voice has often been criticized for the show’s failure to pronounce any real music superstars. American Idol, on the other hand, was responsible for launching the careers of Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, and Phillip Phillips (just to name a few).