All-star judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, along with host Ryan Seacrest, and in-house mentor Bobby Bones, were on hand when ABC’s American Idol kicked off auditions for the upcoming season in search for the next singing sensation in Savannah, Georgia, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019.
American Idol is returning to ABC for the 2019-2020 season. According to @IdolSpoilers, season 3 of the show on ABC will begin earlier than ever. According to a tweet from TIP, the date is not finalized yet, but American Idol 2020 will likely premiere on Sunday February 23, but February 16 is still in contention. ETA: As mentioned in comments, when ABC announced the return of the current judges panel, the press released mentioned more live shows for the 2020 season. Yay!
Why is ABC moving up the premiere? Thank the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The 92nd Academy Awards, which typically air late February on ABC, will be held earlier, on Sunday February 9, 2020. That allows ABC to premiere Idol two weeks earlier than last season.
But don’t get too excited! The 2021 and 2022 Oscars go back to a late February date due to the 2022 Olympics, Super Bowl and national holidays. Sunday February 28 and 27 are the dates for 2021 and 2022 respectively. Therefore, American Idol will go back to a March premiere date IF ABC renews the show for a 4th and 5th season, and plans to keep the current Sunday/Monday schedule.
As far as the Savannah auditions are concerned, mentor Bobby Bones told WJCL TV, “The great thing about American Idol is we actually go out to cities and find the next superstar,” he added. “A lot of the shows you have to go to Hollywood to actually audition. I think the great thing about us, we come out to places. We think there’s a lot of talent and obviously we keep coming back here, so there’s something to it.”
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) October 1, 2019