Turns out, Fuller was just kidding.
“Thank you for bringing the show back in 2018,” Fuller said to Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden, who stood on stage next to him as he accepted the award, along with FremantleMedia Group’s CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz. He added, “We can’t wait to make it.”
Also during his acceptance speech, Fuller thanked executive producer Trish Kinane, saying that she’s in charge of the “future” of “American Idol.” As Fuller exited the stage, he teased to the audience, “See you in 2018!”
The award, which the Television Academy awards annually to honor exceptional achievement in the television arts and sciences, marks the second Governors Award to be received by “American Idol.” In 2007, the Fox singing competition won for its philanthropic episode “Idol Gives Back.”
In presenting the award to “Idol,” the Television Academy’s Bruce Rosenblum said, “Its enormous audience may be the last of its kind,” noting that the show has earned 67 Emmy nominations.
Fuller quipped: “It’s been 15 years and this is the first Emmy we’ve actually won for the show — can you believe that?”
The show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, was nominated for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program, and many predicted he would win for the show’s final season, but the award went to RuPaul Charles for “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” marking his first-ever Emmy.
(Variety reached out to Fox, and a spokesperson for the network confirmed that there are no plans to bring back “American Idol” in 2018.)