American Idol Producers Confirm Renewal and Return of Judges?

"214 (Disney Night)" - (ABC/John Fleenor) LUKE BRYAN, KATY PERRY, LIONEL RICHIE

Billboard magazine recently sat down for a chat with American Idol executive producers Trish Kinane and Megan Michaels Wolflick. Showrunner Kinane, who is also executive producer of America’s Got Talent, joined Idol in season 13 and Wolflick has been with the series since season two.

There are a ton of interesting tidbits in the Billboard article. But this particular item stood out. Kinane all but confirms the rumor that American Idol will be renewed for another season on ABC. During this Sunday’s Disney Night, host Ryan Seacrest will put out a call for auditions. Production is already planning for the summer audition bus tour. 

We’re coming to the end of this season in a few weeks. We’re already planning the casting for next season. We’ve got an audition call coming out on Disney night, so we’re going to start the audition process again. We’ve got the buses ready to go out and the judges’ calendars all sorted out, so we’re getting ready to do it all again and it’s exciting.

She also mentions that the “judges calendars” are “all sorted out.” Does that mean Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan are all returning to the panel? It seems that a renewal announcement is imminent.

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Kinane offers more information on the April 22 clip show.   So, we’ll finally see Dimitrius Graham’s audition? FYI: Viewers real time votes will have already eliminated two Top 10 contestants the night before. 

There’s a clip show on April 22, “Meet Your Finalists.” We’ve got eight or nine-minute in depth pieces about the contestants, with material that’s not been seen. If they sang two songs in Hollywood Week and we only showed one, we’re going to show the other one. It’s going to be really interesting if you want to know more about who the top eight are. That’s a two-hour show.

And more details about the 3 hour live coast to coast finale, set for Sunday May 19. Viewers across US time zones will watch and vote together in real time. A live vote will determine the winner. 

It will be a three-hour live real-time vote finale with the result at the end. We’re going to have our traditional competition where the singers will compete, as well as the hometown hero packages everyone loves, as well as the all-star shebang celebrity extravaganza. So it’s literally going to be a show for everyone. There’s going to be competition. We have a celebration. We have a winner at the end. It’s going to be amazing. This is the first time we’ve ever done this. It’s always been a traditional overnight vote, so we are honestly taking it to the next level in my opinion by doing this real-time vote on the finale.

It sounds like production will divide the 3 hour show into segments. The first 60 or 90 minutes will feature contestant performances and hometown packages. The rest of the night, as viewers at home continue to vote, will feature celebrity and contestant performances. The last five minutes host Ryan Seacrest will crown a winner. 


About mj santilli 34985 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!