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‘American Idol’ Renewed by ABC

ABC has renewed “American Idol.”

As Variety reported Thursday, a renewal recently became a lock. Strong ratings for the new season’s first live show on Sunday, which saw the highest levels of viewership since the season premiere, give ABC a positive narrative around the franchise to push heading into its upfront presentation May 16. Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie are set to return next season along with host Ryan Seacrest.

“We knew that ‘American Idol’ on ABC would unleash an opportunity for singers from all walks of life to realize their dreams and that these incredible contestants would have America rooting for their success,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “I am thrilled that Katy, Luke, Lionel and Ryan will be back to once again embark on this Idol journey with us to discover the next crop of inspiring talent.”

ABC ahead of its upfronts last year announced that it had given a greenlight to a 16th season of the long-running music competition. The series order ended not only a process that saw multiple networks explore bringing the reality franchise to their air, but also a briefer-than-anticipated absence for a show that just a year ago celebrated its “farewell season.” “Idol” aired for 15 seasons on Fox. For eight of those seasons, it was the highest-rated show on television.

The show premiered March 11 to a respectable 2.3 in the demo and 10.5 million total viewers. Its numbers then then fell into a decline before spiking with Sunday’s Disney themed episode, which had been the subject of a big marketing push by ABC.

FremantleMedia North America and Core Media Group’s 19 Entertainment produce “American Idol.” Executive producers are FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin, and Phil McIntyre of Core Media. FremantleMedia International distributes the series internationally.

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