Expect some big changes to “American Idol” next season — ones that involve the show getting smaller.
FOX head Kevin Reilly told reporters Monday (May 12) in announcing the network’s 2014-15 lineup that Season 14 of “Idol” will cover 37 hours of primetime, down from 50-plus hours in each of the past few seasons. With the smaller footprint will come a “streamlined” format, he says.
“I think you’ll see a two-night format at least initially, during the audition phase,” Reilly says. “But I think it’s quite likely it will end up being a two-hour show on one night for most of its run.”
Because the format isn’t nailed down yet, FOX held back Monday on releasing a full midseason schedule. Reilly also says the changes to the format are about keeping the show “vital” for the future, even if it will never be a ratings juggernaut again.
“What we believe is the show can be in the air for many years to come, and will be, as a potent time-period contender and a top-rated unscripted show,” he says. “‘Survivor’ hasn’t been at the top [of the] ratings for many years, and it has vital seasons year after year. That’s the mode we’re in with ‘Idol.'”
It’s also looking good for judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. to return for Season 14. “We don’t really ever confirm that until after the season wraps,” Reilly says, “but we’re getting good indications from all of them.”