ABC Chief Channing Dungey: ‘It’s the Perfect Time’ to Revive ‘American Idol’

ABC Chief Channing Dungey: 'It's the
Courtesy of Disney | ABC Television Group

A day after Fox executives weighed in on ABC’s move to revive “American Idol,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey defended the network’s decision to bring the show back so soon after its 2016 “farewell season” on Fox.

“From where we sit, we feel like it’s the perfect time to bring this series back,” Dungey said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters ahead of the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers at Lincoln Center. “What I love about it personally is that it’s about heartfelt, uplifting stories of people who make their dreams come true. And honestly, that’s our sweet spot at ABC.”


Fox Chief on ‘American Idol’: Quick Revival Would Have Been ‘Fraudulent’ After Farewell Season Promotion

Dungey’s comments came just a day after Fox Television Group CEO Dana Walden declared that it was too soon for Fox to revive the series, telling reporters prior to her network’s upfront: “It would be extremely fraudulent to bring the show back quickly.” ABC outbid Fox to land the show from FremantleMedia and Core Media Group. Walden said Monday that Fox wanted to revive the show in 2020. Sources familiar with the negotiations contend that Fox was looking to bring the show back in the 2018-19 season.

ABC does not yet have deals in place with Ryan Seacrest, who is in talks to return as host of “Idol,” or with any judges or other onscreen talent.

“We are in a number of key conversations, but we don’t have anything to announce on that at this time,” Dungey said.

The ABC chief did, however, hint at a new look for the show, which ran for 15 seasons on Fox.

“In terms of format changes to make it feel fresh, absolutely,” Dungey said. “This is going to be ABC’s version of ‘American Idol,’ so we are very excited. I think you guys will see when we unveil our version of the show that it is going to have a very clear ABC hallmark and brand on it at that point.”

Dungey also spoke briefly about the process of securing “Idol.” The network had originally been cool to the idea of becoming the new home of the long-running series, which was for eight consecutive seasons the highest-rated show on television.

“Some of the ideas that were discussed in the initial proposals kind of didn’t feel like they made sense for us,” Dungey said. “But that was just an early, preliminary inquiry. Once we sat down with Fremantle and Core to engage in serious conversations, I think we realized what a perfect fit this could be for us.”

The 16th season of “American Idol” is slated to premiere in midseason on ABC.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 16


    Leave a Reply


    Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    1. Diane says:

      I regret that u felt the need to cancel Last Man Standing. I think that was a major mistake on your part. It’ s a shame that good decent shows aren’t part of Americas programs especially nowadays.
      Everybody else gets to voice their opinions.

    2. Bonnie Messenger says:

      You are the dumbest person I have ever seen . When you canceled last man standing it was a big mistake. Hope you enjoy losing viewers because you don’t like peoples politics. And oh yes that it the reason so don’t try to deny it

    3. Maureen says:

      Channing Dungey is terrorising Hollywood. ABC can be disrespectful of the president we voted for. Hollywood and Democrats are destroying democracy and freedom of speech and are the true terrorist in this country.

      • piercejeans says:

        She single handedly destroyed Friday night for American television. It had a block of prime time monsters from eight to ten o clock, and now they are gone. How could Disney be so STUPID as to put someone this incompetent and biased into their highest ABC office?

    4. Sue Victor says:

      Ms Dungey is obviously unaware of freedom of speech in the U.S. For her to cancel Last Man Standing and say it is not related to Allen’s conservative expressions is such a fallacy? Isn’t she aware of what goes on in other countries where our right to our own beliefs is squashed? Look at Nazi Germany and Korea, she should be ashamed of herself and I am scared by the thought that so many in this country only want one expression and not hear anything different. We left England hundreds of years ago to be able to express our own beliefs this is quickly being eliminated and taken away with no recourse. I will do what I can to protest and will contact Disney shareholders and not pursue any Disney purchase with this insane move of hers. She should be removed and she should be ashamed of her inability to accept diversity among everyone, white, black, Indian, democrat, republican, independent, etc.

      • piercejeans says:

        Agree, Sue. Have you noticed that every sitcom coming to ABC now must have a disproportionate amount of black people in the cast? And every sitcom must be an after school learning special for children about life and living… as seen through her narrow views and opinions?

    5. Mac McGlynn says:

      Channing Dungey needs to go !!!!!!The Perfect Time To Stop Watching ABC..due to their cancellation of “Last Man Standing”. I am hoping that the spongers will drop ABC like Dungey did last man standing

    6. Brian Moore says:

      retitle this article “It’s The Perfect Time To Stop Watching ABC”. Even though I am a fan of Marvel shows/movies, I will no longer be watching or supporting ABC due to their cancellation of “Last Man Standing”. I am hoping that the several hundred thousand who have already signed the petition follow suit. Good luck ABC.

    7. Mary Ann Conner says:

      I am a fan of last man standing and have been for the last 5 years. I cannot you could not find another day for this highly rated show and fan Favorite. I do not like nor have I watched American idol as the voice is so much better and supportive of the singers. Good luck on ratings you lost me as a viewer

    8. Duane says:

      Dungey Lets keep the crap on and let go of the good shows .Last man standing was one of three shows I still can stand see. This was a good family show. My wish f you is to catch something you can not get rid of oh have a great day.

    9. James W McMains says:

      I make it a point to watch 2 shows every week: Meet The Press and Last Man Standing. Way to go, Dungey! You cancelled, not moved to another day and time, the only good sitcom on TV. And you think Variety is the way to go? It’s amazing to me how so many incompetents manage to become top entertainment executives. Now I truly have no reason to watch ABC at all. BTW, I’m a democrat, not a conservative.

    10. Lynn says:

      So, now we finally get to meet Channing Dungey. Well, Missy, you’ve just sunk your career. You cancelled Last Man Standing well, goodbye ABC as long as you’re employed there.

    11. Daria says:

      Ummmmm… ….too soon. Also I like the programming on ABC. No Ryan Seacrest. Vanilla and boring. Save the money. Get someone better for cheaper

    More Music News from Variety