Will American Idol be renewed for a 20th season? According to rumors, the show will be coming back next year, despite low ratings.
The IdolPad spoiler site reports that producers are “seriously considering changes to the judging panel.” They say The Voice signing on global superstar Ariana Grande as a coach for the fall has producers considering changes.
Here’s what I think about the rumors:
American Idol ratings are indeed the lowest they have ever been
But network ratings across the board are terrible. The numbers having been falling steadily for years, accelerated by cable, DVRs, streaming, and the COVID pandemic. The highest rated entertainment show on TV right now is The Masked Singer on FOX, and their numbers are down as well. That show garners about a 1.2 in the key 18-49 demo this season. The Voice and American Idol have been running neck and neck in the ratings for most of the season. However, the recent Comeback episode, featuring season 18 contestants garnered the lowest ratings in Idol history. (0.59 demo 4.2M). For a comparison, the two clip shows American Idol aired last year after COVID shut production down scored a 1.0 and 0.8 in the demo, respectively.
Despite low ratings, ABC will renew the show, if only to mount a 20th season celebration
Nevertheless, I believe the rumor. I do think ABC will renew Idol for a landmark 20th season. It’s also season No. 5 on ABC. FOX cancelled American Idol after a low rated (For 2015! The lowest ratings were a 1.3 in the demo) season 14, promising a big sendoff the following year. The ratings DID rise for the final farewell. I imagine ABC wants to give American Idol at least another year. A 20 year celebration could lift the ratings and give the network new ways to promote the show.
It’s too bad that OG winner, Kelly Clarkson is tied to The Voice and won’t be able to help the show celebrate. It will be odd as she stays quiet throughout the season. But she will probably mention the 2oth anniversary of the show’s premiere in June, after the seasons of both The Voice and American Idol are over. Nevertheless, American Idol will have no problems bringing back other winners and near-winners like Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert, Scotty McCreery and more to celebrate.
Will ABC shake up the judges panel?
I don’t know, maybe? The rumor that producers are considering replacing judges on the panel sounds like speculation, to be frank. Is there a mole sitting in on high level production meetings? In any case, the judges panel has remained the same for four years. When ratings fall, American Idol tends to make changes, and not always for the better. However, I think the importance of who is or isn’t sitting on the judges panel is overrated. Will Ariana Grande bring higher ratings to The Voice? Maybe for the premiere, but overall, probably not. If American Idol were to ditch Katy Perry, the show’s highest paid judge and replace her with a younger, newer pop star—same. It’s more important to make sure that the show is cast and produced well. The judges are merely cosmetic.
When will ABC renew the show?
Usually ABC makes the announcement in mid-May, around the time of the advertiser upfronts. But it could be earlier.