American Idol is gearing up to produce another season during a worldwide pandemic.
And it will do so with the same judging panel that have been with the series since it debuted on ABC.
Yep, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie have officially been signed up for its fourth season on ABC -- and 19th overall.
Ryan Seacrest will also return as host, which is great because we could not imagine anyone else in that role.
“American Idol has always been able to bring people together, entertain and inspire — and I am so proud of how this show continued to deliver joy and laughter into people’s homes during a time when we needed it the most,” ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said in a statement.
“There is no one who we feel more confident about leading us into a new season of high notes than Luke, Katy, Lionel and the incomparable Ryan Seacrest.”
Added showrunner Trish Kinane, “Katy, Lionel and Luke are fun, astute and really know how to spot talent. Their chemistry is undeniable, and we are delighted that they, along with host Ryan Seacrest, are returning to find the next superstar and take American Idol to new heights next season.”
Bobby Bones, who has been with the series since Season 17 as the in-house mentor is nowhere to be found on the press release from ABC, meaning there's a good chance he will not be back for the next season.
Still, there is time, and his name could be added down the line, but it's also possible the series is refreshing the format, so he may no longer be needed.
AI was forced to film its live shows remotely earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There's no telling what the show will do in its next season, but if we look at the likes of America's Got Talent, it is likely it could move to a new location for the live shows.
What we do know is that virtual auditions are currently underway, so the show is moving ahead.
A firm premiere date has not been announced, but it should be in early 2021.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.