Now I think TMZ is just trolling us:
“American Idol” is all but certainly coming back on the air in March, 2018, and even though it looks like Ryan Seacrest is out of the picture as host … we’ve learned he’s not out of the picture … at all.
TMZ broke the story … ABC wants the show and is far along in the negotiations with Fremantle, which produces the show. We’re told ABC wants to announce it at the Upfronts a week from next.
As for Ryan … as we reported, ABC inquired last week if the show could be shot in NYC, where he now has a full-time gig with Kelly Ripa. ABC wanted it NYC-based so Ryan could host, but Fremantle fired back that the show had to be shot in L.A.
So it’s impossible for Ryan to do the ‘A.I.’, right? Not so fast.
We’re told Fremantle has always wanted Ryan as the host of the reboot, and its been pushing ABC to run the show on Sunday nights. Here’s how it could work for the 10 weeks “A.I.” is live.
— THURSDAYS Ryan does ‘Live’ with Kelly, and pre-tapes Friday’s show. Kelly’s been doing a Friday pre-tape for a long time, so that’s not a change. Ryan jumps on a private jet early Thursday afternoon for L.A. and has Friday to prep for “Idol.”
— SUNDAYS Ryan does “‘dol’ live at 8 PM ET, which is 5 PM PT. He jumps on his jet at 7 PM, sleeps for 4 hours and lands in NYC at around 3 AM ET.
— MONDAY Ryan does ‘Live’ at 9 AM ET, jumps in a car by 10:15 for the airport and jumps on his jet before noon for a second trip to L.A. He lands between 2:30 and 3 PM, goes to ABC and shoots the results show at 5 PM. He books it to the airport and is back in the air by 7 PM.
— TUESDAY Ryan sleeps on the plane for 4 hours and lands in NYC at around 3 AM ET. He’s back on the ‘Live’ set for a 9 AM show.
His radio show is unaffected.
We’re told ABC has not reached out to Ryan, but we know both the network and Fremantle think he’s the franchise. There is a sticking point … sources familiar with the negotiations tell us ABC wants the show on Monday nights opposite “The Voice,” which would make this plan impossible for Seacrest, but if ABC capitulates and Fremantle wins the Sunday battle, Ryan is doable.
I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. Really? ABC would air American Idol against the The Voice. FOX cancelled American Idol because the ratings fell. There’s a special kind of insanity involved in a decision that would bring back a failed show, a mere year later and air it against the new kid in town that helped kill it. Also, what would happen to Dancing with the Stars, which is a solid ratings performer for ABC? Additionally: Rising Star aired on Sunday night and failed miserably. Also…Results Show? I can’t imagine any network committing to 3 hours of Idol a week.
TMZ goes through this lengthy scenario describing how Ryan Seacrest could basically live on a plane for 10 weeks to do the bi-coastal host thing. The key phrase here, however is: “ABC has not reached out to Ryan.” So, nice fantasy sh*t talking there, TMZ.
Consider this: After Nick Cannon abruptly quit America’s Got Talent, TMZ breathlessly covered rumors regarding who would be the new host. First it was one of the Wayans brothers set to get the gig. Then a trio of lesser known comics were in the running. Then NBC announced Tyra Banks got the gig. Missed that one, eh TMZ? So. Grain of salt and all that.
UPDATE: From Entertainment Tonight:
Another source close to FremantleMedia — the production company behind Idol — tells ET that it’s “entirely possible to do American Idol in New York City,” where Seacrest resides during the week. “It could be more costly, but worth it,” the source said. “Everyone knows that Ryan is the glue that keeps the show together.”
The source added, “A reboot without him is almost unthinkable. The fans want the show to come back and they want it with Ryan.”
Basing American Idol might actually be kind of cool. Shoot the live shows in an iconic theater like Radio City Music Hall? The east coast location could help differentiate the show from the competition.