American Idol is keeping the band together for its fifth season on ABC.
Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan and host Ryan Seacrest have all inked new deals to remain with the singing competition in 2022 — which will mark the show’s 20th season overall, the first 15 on Fox. Their returns are locked in as Idol is set to open up virtual auditions to would-be contestants across the country on Aug. 6.
“Luke, Katy, Lionel and Ryan are music and industry icons that have become synonymous with Idol on ABC,” said Rob Mills, executive vp unscripted and alternative entertainment at Walt Disney Television. “Their star power is unmatched, and their support is a gift to our contestants that have deeply benefited from their wisdom over the past four seasons — and they’re ready to do it again. As we begin a momentous season, I think it’s safe to say this dream team has officially cemented their legacy on Idol.”
ABC renewed American Idol for the 2021-22 season in May, but as has been the case for much of the show’s run at the network, did so without securing deals with its judges and host. The announcement of their return just as the gears begin to turn on the coming season also follows a familiar pattern.
“American Idol is still the original music show that genuinely creates superstars and continues to evolve to allow true artists to succeed in this unique business,” said executive producer and showrunner Megan Wolflick. “The chemistry and passion Katy, Luke, Lionel and Ryan bring is second to none. We couldn’t be more ecstatic that they are returning for this iconic 20th season in search of the freshest new talent that this nation has to offer.”
Added Eli Holzman, executive producer and CEO of Industrial Media, “We are thrilled that Katy, Lionel, Luke and Ryan will be back to help discover our next American Idol. This dream team has selected and guided some of the most talented Idol contestants in the history of the series, and we can’t wait to see who they’ll find next.”
The show’s “Idol Across America” virtual auditions open Aug. 6 and will run through Sept. 21, giving hopefuls from every state a chance to showcase their talent to Idol producers, who will then select people to try out in front of the judges. The series is slated to debut on ABC in early 2022.
Fremantle and Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment produce American Idol. Wolflick executive produces with Fremantle’s Jennifer Mullin and 19 Entertainment’s Holzman and Aaron Saidman.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.