ABC’s reboot of “American Idol” surprised everyone… even the network where it previously aired.
Fox’s CEO, Dana Walden sounded off about the reboot in a conference call with the press according to E! News.
“It’s obviously a tough one for us. We love ‘American Idol,'” she said. “Yes, it feels bad knowing it’s coming back on another network.”
Walden reportedly explained that they started making plans “a month or two” after the show went off air to bring it back. She said that they were looking to bring on a reboot in 2020 but “Idol” producer Freemantle “[was] determined to get the show back on the air as soon as possible.”
“It felt to us, sitting in those initial meetings, that it would be extremely fraudulent to bring the show back that quickly…that our fans would not appreciate being told one thing and then bringing it back right away,” she said of the big farewell season.
NBC was reportedly one of the first networks to talk about bringing “Idol” back and Walden said that would have made sense as Simon Cowell has “America’s Got Talent” and former judge Jennifer Lopez stars in “Shades of Blue” and the upcoming “World of Dance.”
“I think the show missed Simon towards the end of its life on Fox and they have a deal with Jennifer Lopez as well. That kind of made sense to us, but really made us focus on the fact that not withstanding, it was too early to bring the show back…We did not see the fan excitement and enthusiasm for the show to come back that Freemantle [saw]. We just had a different set of facts. We did make an offer, Freemantle was definitely not interested,” Walden said.
“American Idol” is set to make a return to TV on ABC sometime in 2018.