Like a phoenix from the ashes—or a zombie coming back from the dead, depending on how you feel about reality-TV singing competitions—American Idol is returning to television. American Idol was supposed to have belted out its last note in April 2016, after 15 glorious and then not-so-glorious seasons at Fox. However, ABC announced Tuesday that just over a year after the “final” episode, the network has snapped up the rights to the show and plans to resurrect it in 2018.
American Idol, once the pride of Fox, had fallen steadily in the ratings in recent years, though it still averaged more than 11 million viewers in its last season. There’s no word yet whether longtime host Ryan Seacrest will resume his duties as host, though given his new gig as co-host of Live With Kelly and Ryan, also on ABC, there’s a nice synergy to bringing him back. Still, Seacrest has been playing coy about the whole thing.
Disney ABC president Ben Sherwood said, “America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder and better-than-ever Idol.” We’ll probably learn more after ABC’s annual upfront presentation on May 16. Until then, the only thing to do is speculate wildly about who the judges will be—throwbacks like Idol veteran Kelly Clarkson or Simon Cowell? Fresh faces, like Selena Gomez or Ariana Grande? Kanye West? It’s anyone’s guess.