Ryan Seacrest on ABC’s ‘American Idol’: Changing Format ‘Would Be a Mistake’

Ryan Seacrest addressed how ABC’s version of “American Idol” would be different than the original Fox version during a panel for the show at ABC’s day of the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Monday.

“It’s different obviously because of these personalities but the show, at its core, works,” Seacrest said. “The format works in practice. We go out, we look for young talented people, they see the judges, they come back to Hollywood, and they’ll have to step up. There’s been a lot of talk about how is the show different. You’ve got three different faces, you’ve got different contestants, but to change the show drastically in terms of format would be a big mistake.”

The new show will feature judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. Seacrest also said that it was important that the judging panel was more than just big names.

“Something that was important to me…that there were going to be three or four stars on the show who weren’t just going to be individual stars, but were going to come on to collaborate,” he said. “To take this seriously and to give the franchise what it deserves. The legacy of this franchise is important to fans, it’s important to us who have worked on it for a long time.”

Series executive producer Trish Kinane answered questions about which of the members of the new panel would be this version’s Simon Cowell.

“There is only one Simon Cowell,” she said. “That was 15 years ago and he’s doing a slightly different version of Simon Cowell on ‘AGT’ at the moment. But we weren’t looking for, ‘Hey, let’s get another Simon Cowell. Let’s get a Randy!’ We weren’t looking to replicate that. We took a long time to put this judging panel together…and that was because we wanted to get it right.”

ABC’s “American Idol” will air on Sundays and Monday, kicking off with a two-hour premiere on March 11 at 8 p.m.

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