Attention “American Idol” fans: Be sure to set your DVRs for Sunday, March 3 on ABC, as that’s when the granddaddy of all reality TV singing shows starts its landmark 17th season. Since last year’s reboot was such a success, the alphabet network has decided to bring back the entire judging panel — Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie — as well as permanent host Ryan Seacrest. Who will ultimately join the “American Idol” winners list that includes last season’s champ Maddie Poppe? We’ll all find out soon enough.
Initial auditions and Hollywood week will take place over the first four weeks of the show, with two-hour episodes initially airing every Sunday and Monday (see the full schedule). The Top 50 artists will battle in a special showcase episode on April 1, with the Top 24 then competing on April 7-8 (group one) and April 14-15 (group two).
The all-important live shows begin airing in April, which is when viewers will have their say for who they want to advance each week. The Top 12 singers perform on April 21, the Top 10 on April 22, the Top 8 on April 28, the Top 6 on May 5, and the Top 4 on May 12. The final performance show is scheduled for May 19, with the season finale set for May 20.
“American Idol” aired on Fox for 15 seasons (2002-16) before taking a two-year hibernation period. ABC then swooped in to pick up the ratings juggernaut, which debuted on March 11, 2018 to great fanfare. While the show’s original format was kept the same, ABC decided to revamp the judging panel by replacing Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban with Perry, Bryan and Richie.
Poppe won Season 16 in a nationwide audience vote over Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Gabby Barrett. Poppe and Hutchinson shocked the world during the finale by announcing that they were dating. Their love affair continued throughout the summer during the 45-city “American Idol” concert tour. Since winning the show Poppe has released three singles: “Going Going Gone,” “Keep On Movin’ On” and “First Aid Kit.”