Luke Bryan + Other Judges Expected to Return for New Season of ‘American Idol’
It's been five years since ABC snatched up American Idol when Fox canceled the reality singing competition after Season 15. Now the network is making plans for year number six, and according to reports, the celebrity judging panel will remain the same.
Deadline reports that ABC has officially renewed Idol for its 21st overall season. In addition to this news, Luke Bryan is expected to return as a celebrity judge alongside Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.
“We expect the host(s) to come back. I thought the chemistry that solidified among them this season was amazing and we’re looking forward to having that same chemistry next year,” ABC Entertainment President Craig Erwich says.
If history is any indication, a formal announcement should be forthcoming during the coming months. Over the last few years, each season has been renewed in the month of May, with both the judges and hosts signing on in the summer. ABC's Good Morning America confirmed the news in August of 2021 for Season 20.
Bryan, Richie and Perry have consistently judged each season of Idol's new era since Season 16 in 2018. Host Ryan Seacrest has been with the franchise since Season 1, and the Deadline article says he will also be back next season. News about frequent mentor Bobby Bones — who was absent from Season 20 — is to be determined.
It's likely the network will fight to keep their current cast. Deadline reports that Idol was ABC's top performing show in 2022 in total viewers. In fact, they recorded a 15 percent increase in adult viewers ages 18-49 after 35 days of multiplatform viewing.
The American Idol Season 20 finale is set to air on Sunday (May 22). The three finalists are country singers HunterGirl and Noah Thompson, in addition to Leah Marlene. HunterGirl and Thompson have each released their debut singles —"Red Bird" (HunterGirl) and "One Day Tonight" (Thompson).
The winner of American Idol will receive $250,000 and a recording contract.