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American Idol Might Return — on NBC

The network and production company Fremantle are in talks

Liam Mathews

American Idol aired what was supposed to be its last season on Fox last year, but that might not be the end for the former biggest show on television: Variety reports that NBC and production company Fremantle Media are in talks to revive the singing competition.

NBC is reportedly mulling cutting The Voice to one season a year instead of two in order to accommodate American Idol.

American Idol ran for 15 seasons on Fox from 2002 to 2016. At its peak, it was a ubiquitous cultural phenomenon, averaging 36.4 million viewers in 2006, a number no longer seen on TV outside of political or sporting events.


Ryan Seacrest, La'Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon, American Idol

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Its ratings and cultural impact declined after Season 8, and by the end, it was averaging 9.1 million viewers. Still, that's a respectable number in the Peak TV era, and apparently good enough for NBC to consider picking the show up.

Additionally, The Voice's ratings are declining (though are still pretty strong), and NBC may want to try other options instead of relying on The Voice in the spring and the fall.

American Idol has been primed for a comeback since before it ended. Creator Simon Fuller said, "Idol will certainly be coming back for sure" while Season 15 was still airing. And host Ryan Seacrest signed off the final episode by saying, "Good night, America... for now."

TVGuide.com has reached out to NBC and Fremantle for comment.