FOX and ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Feud Has Gotten Bitchy
And if that quick turnaround gave you whiplash, you’re not alone. Even FOX was surprised and dismayed to see ABC resurrect their flagship reality show, and the two networks have been swapping insults ever since.
Flip those light switches on because it’s about to get shady…
Apparently, FOX planned on talking to Idol producer FremantleMedia North America about bringing the singing competition back in 2020, but the latter company didn’t want to wait that long.
Now ABC is calling itself Idol’s rightful home, while FOX is implying the revival is “extremely fraudulent.”
“Yes, it feels bad knowing it’s coming back on another network,” Fox Television Group chairman Dana Walden told reporters today, May 15, per Variety.
“It’s obviously a tough one for us. We loved American Idol. It’s so connected to the Fox brand. It was associated with a tremendous amount of success for everyone involved for 15 years.”
“They were determined to get this show back on the air as quickly as possible,” Dana continued.
“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.”
In fact, it was Fremantle that made the decision to make Season 15 the final round of the original Idol.
The show’s ratings had plunged 70 percent in four years, and FOX wanted to trim the budget and try out a new panel, but Fremantle rebuffed those changes and decided they “would rather rest the show,” Dana said.
Now Fremantle has decided that rest period is over, especially now that its parent company is missing those Idol profits, as Dana says.
And ABC was all too happy to snap it up, outbidding FOX and NBC for the revival.
“American Idol is a pop-culture staple that left the air too soon,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said, per Entertainment Weekly.
“ABC is the right home to reignite the fan base. We are thrilled viewers will once again share in these inspiring stories of people realizing their dreams.”
Yep, that was ABC exec suggesting FOX messed up by ending the show after 2015… and then Disney Media Networks co-chairman Ben Sherwood said ABC’s version will be an improvement on the original.
“Idol is an entertainment icon, and now it will air where it belongs, in ABC’s lineup of addictive fan favorites alongside Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor,” he said.
“America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder and better-than-ever Idol.”
American Idol will premiere on ABC in the 2017-2018 TV season.