ABC to air ‘American Idol’ live nationwide with real-time voting beginning with Top 10 episode on Sunday April 29

ABC is taking a big gamble with “American Idol” by introducing a coast-to-coast live broadcast for the first time in the 16-year history of the franchise. This will kick off with Sunday’s Top 10 episode that will have a Disney movies theme. Everyone watching across the country will get to vote for their favorite singers and then see the results at the same time.

This bold move will mean that “American Idol” will air live in each time zone as follows:
Eastern: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Central: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Mountain: 6 p.m.to 8 p.m.
Pacific: 5 p.m.to 7 p.m.
Hawaii: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

By the end of this unprecedented episode, three artists will have been told by host Ryan Seacrest that they have been eliminated. For those on the west coast who don’t want to watch live, the show will be repeat in its usual 8 p.m. time slot with a warning that voting is closed.

For ABC executive Rob Mills, “this puts ‘Idol’ on par with the Oscars and the Super Bowl. Everybody in the country is going to be able to vote at the same time and at the end of two hours, the contestants are living or dying. And that’s a big deal.”

SEE ‘American Idol’: How to vote for your favorite artist of Season 16 on ABC

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