‘American Idol’ Drama: Producer Rebuffed Fox’s Offer to Bring Show Back for 2020

Upfronts 2017: Dana Walden says it would have been “extremely fraudulent” for Fox to return singing competition before then

Last Updated: May 15, 2017 @ 6:40 AM

Fox wanted to bring “American Idol” back after a multi-season hiatus, network co-chairman and CEO Dana Walden said on Monday, but producer Fremantle wasn’t feeling that.

Returning the singing competition any sooner after its much-publicized “Farewell Season” on Fox last year would have been “extremely fraudulent” to fans, she explained of the broadcaster’s 2020 comeback pitch.

“We did make an offer,” Walden said on a conference call ahead of its afternoon upfront presentation. “Fremantle was definitely not interested.”

Instead, ABC ended up with the franchise, which will debut on the Disney broadcaster’s airwaves next season.

Thanks in large part to all of Fox’s marketing and some strong guest-booking, “Idol” received a TV ratings resurgence of sorts last season. That wasn’t enough for Walden to break her promotional promise to viewers, however.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.