Less than two years after it went off the air, American Idol has set its return date on ABC: March 11.
Original host Ryan Seacrest broke the news on Live with Kelly and Ryan on Monday morning (Nov. 6) and judge Katy Perry confirmed it on Instagram a short time later, via a moody Star Wars-style portrait of a smiling Ryan with the new three-judge panel, which also includes Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.
Auditions for the reboot have been taking place around the nation for the past three months at 23 stops, and the premiere episode will be a two-hour show beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The show, which debuted on the Fox network in 2002 and quickly became a ratings juggernaut that spun off such megastars as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, went off the air in April 2016 amid sagging ratings and increased ratings competition for NBC’s The Voice.
Speaking of the panel’s chemistry back in October when the cast was first revealed, Perry said, “This is the dream team. I think there is still talent out there to be discovered. I mean, we live in the age of the Internet. The music industry is constantly changing, it’s in flux right now. I think there are still stars, and diamonds in the rough. I think the great American dream, we can revive that in a way and show people that if they have the talent, if they work really hard and if we can give them that lucky star and the combination of those three things, maybe we can give them kind of like a little platform to just shine… we’re here to really make dreams come true, and to hopefully find that American Idol.”