‘American Idol’ Judges Tease Show’s Potential Return After Farewell Season

American Idol finale
Michael Becker/FOX

American Idol” is in the midst of its highly-publicized fifteenth and final season, dubbed “The Farewell Season,” but don’t say goodbye to the long-running series just yet.

“This show is like a family member to me,” host Ryan Seacrest said Friday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., to which judge Jennifer Lopez chimed in, “We’ll always be there when they call.”

Asked by a reporter if Fox made a mistake ending the series after fifteen seasons, judge Keith Urban quipped, “I think the Eagles have had at least three farewell tours.”

Lopez continued to tease the show being revived down the road. “I think you never know with a format like this that can work at any time — it’s possible. Whether they’re making a mistake or not, everyone just goes with the feeling in the moment. If that’s what they’re if feeling than that’s their feeling,” she said of Fox, explaining that she does not know all the factors that went into the network’s decision to cancel “Idol.”

“At the end of the day, you never know,” Lopez said. “This is an amazing, amazing journey to watch and people are still tuning in.”

Speaking more to the viewership, Seacrest said, “The numbers look great this season, they look really good, and I think we’re all pleased that people are watching and some people are coming back to watch … Does that mean it’s the end? I’m not so sure.”

Alternatively, “Idol” mentor Scott Borchetta shed some light on Fox’s decision. “You have the ability to go out on top,” he said. “Why not go out on top?”

Borchetta’s notion brings up a good point: if “Idol” goes out, still a hit — and it will, given it’s current ratings, which will likely sustain or grow as the nostalgia factor kicks in, nearing the season’s end — it will be sensible for Fox to bring back the show at a later date.

Last week, viewers flocked to the final-season premiere of “Idol” with its 3.0 rating in adults 18-49 and 11 million total viewers, good enough to win its night and come within 5% of its year-ago premiere. Even though the show fell off in its second week last night, it still netted a 2.2 in the demo and nearly 9 million total viewers.

Borchetta also suggested that if “Idol” ever does return, it could be reinvigorated and modernized. “For that opportunity to be reinvented and re-imagined and how you can use the current media to reinvent ‘American Idol’ … it’s a really exciting opportunity to think about what that show would be.”

If the show does come back, would the current trio of judges return? Lopez, who is about to start her Las Vegas residency, would definitely consider. “Hypothetically, if that we’re to happen, ‘American Idol’ has a special place in my heart,” she said.

During the TCA panel, Fox’s official “American Idol” Twitter account retweeted this reporter’s tweet about the show returning, acknowledging the possibility of more “Idol” — and perhaps bringing some weight to the show’s potential return.

As for the current final season, exec producer Trish Kinane promises it will be a memorable season, which will welcome back many familiar faces, including original winner Kelly Clarkson who will perform be a guest judge during the live shows on Jan. 25. While plans aren’t firm at this point, original judge Simon Cowell will most likely be back for the finale, which will be exec produced by Nigel Lythgoe.

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  1. Carol Barstad says:

    American Idol gave me something to look forward to every year. There is always a let down after the holidays and Idol was a cure for that. Music has been my favorite form of entertainment most of my life. This program allowed us to witness the progress of some very talented people. I loved every season,but
    my favorites were when Steven Tyler was a judge. FOX network, please bring this back.

  2. Sandra Hensberg says:

    It is insane to stop American Idols! I have been watching for 15 years! I am sooooooo upset! A lot of people will feel the same! BRING BACK IDOLS PLEEEEEEEZE!!

  3. Dana Miller says:

    I am very happy That A.I Will return next season..

  4. Diane says:

    I would love to see this show return! No gimmicks, just fairness for the very best singers. I am not a voice fan, American Idol will always be it for me……

  5. J says:

    If American Idol does return make it more family oriented And no saves and no hard luck stories its about if they can sing not what has happened in there life . If they have have talent. Not fair for Ryan Seacrest to ask JLo who she would pick. This show has to stop with Favortism . It use to be good 2010 after that it went down hill.

  6. Craig Ogle says:

    The X Factor was canceled so other than The Voice…American Idol is the only other star maker on the TVs line up. I personally would rather watch Am.Idol than The Voice anyday no offence Blake and Adam but your shows are boring…PLEASE DON’T LET THE ONLY STAR MAKER BE THE VOICE…BRING BACK AMERICAN IDOL PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Tom says:

    The show is done because of one person, and that is Harry, the good singers he send them home and the bad singers he put them through with the help of J-Lo. Plus he thinks he is in charge of the show just like American got Talent and that Idiot judge Howard Stern he thought he ran that show also, and he is gone too. Simon should come back and get the show back in line and get rid of that English guy Nigel Lythgoe he is useless. The best judge was Keith Urban.

  8. The best Judges were Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. That’s when they had the BEST talent picked!!! The other judges let go of some phenomenal ladies tonite and kept some real losers!!!!

  9. OMG THIS SHOW IS AMAZING AND JLO IS SO NOT THE REASON WHY THIS SHOW IS FAILING! ITS ALL OF THE COPY CATS LIKE THE VOICE! WHEN SOMEONE HAS A GOOD IDEA PEOPLE ALWAYS TRY TO OUT DO IT. TO ME SHE IS THE BEST JUDGE.

    • Tom says:

      The Voice is the best show, when Simon was on Idol, Idol was better then the Voice, then when Harry and J-Lo came on Idol went down hill. J-Lo always followed Harry, and Harry thought he ran the show.

  10. Laura Piquet says:

    I love American Idol! it is my favorite program and look forward to every season. I so hope that they will change their minds and keep it or reinvent it. It breaks my heart to think it is ending this year.

  11. Deb says:

    American Idol is such a “feel good” show!! How could they even consider a farewell season. I watch the show alone and smile throughout the entire show!

    • Goley1Egan says:

      Love American Idol my favorite show on tv. Best judges they have ever had. Love J Lo Harry and Keith. Keith Urban my favorite judge, so humble, so talented, gives good advice and easy on the eyes.

  12. Marla says:

    Time for it to go. Period. I admit to watching the show for the first time in years but I watched it to see the return of a former winner. Otherwise I have no desire to watch.

    • Craig Ogle says:

      Harry Connick is a goofball…he’s a piano player he wouldn’t know a good singing voice if it sit on his face…opps hit him in the face lol

  13. tigerone12 says:

    Jlo doesn’t understand that she and her fellow judges are the seasons why the shows had its worsts TV ratings in the history of the show, and that’s why the show is being canceled, and that’s is the reason why Idol has lost all there major sponsors, and also the reasons why they can’t get any new sponsors for the show, Idol was losing millions, so do you really think any sponsors want to lose millions just because JLo and Ryan, wants the show to continue, why don’t they used their own money since they claim their worth millions, see if you want to lose their own money, just like the sponsors that have been losing over the last couple seasons?

  14. 1favored says:

    get new judges if they go for sweet 16!

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