‘American Idol’ Season 21: Find Out Who ABC Expects to Return

Ryan Seacrest, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan

ABC Ryan Seacrest, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan

On Friday, May 13, ABC renewed the long-running singing competition series “American Idol” for its 21st season (the sixth on ABC since the move from FOX). Now the network executives have indicated who out of judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and host Ryan Seacrest are returning when the show comes back in the spring of 2023. There is no premiere date yet announced, the ABC press release simply says “early 2023.”

Everyone is Expected to Return

According to Deadline, all three judges plus host Seacrest, who has been with the show every season since its premiere in 2002, are expected to return for season 21. It was not officially announced at the 2022 Disney Upfronts presentation in New York on May 17, but ABC entertainment president Craig Erwich told Deadline that he expects them all to return.

“We expect the host 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,” said Erwich.

Usually, May is when shows are renewed, right around the time of Upfronts, but the judges and host official announcement typically comes later in the summer. But based on what the entertainment president said, expect the same cast to come back next season.

‘American Idol’ Season 20 Has Earned Solid Ratings For ABC


When the renewal announcement happened, ABC said that “American Idol” is making a good showing in the ratings in its milestone 20th season. The network said that “American Idol” is ABC’s No. 1 show this season in total viewers. It is also up 15 percent over season 19 in the important adult 18-49 demographic after 35 days of multiplatform viewing.

The recent Disney Night of “American Idol,” which aired on Sunday, May 1, tied for the show’s three-year high in total viewers and the show’s most-watched telecast of the season with just over 8 million viewers, according to the ABC press release. “American Idol” was also the top program of the night among all of the broadcast networks in the adults 18-49 demo and the top program in total viewers.

The “American Idol” renewal came alongside four other unscripted shows — “The Bachelor” earned its 27th season, “America’s Funniest Videos” returns for its 33rd season, “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” comes back for its third season, and “Shark Tank” is coming back for its 14th season, plus “Shark Tank” will air its first-ever live episode when the show returns in the fall.

“Bachelor in Paradise” and “Judge Steve Harvey” were also both previously renewed on ABC, and Jesse Palmer is sliding into the permanent hosting slot for “Bachelor in Paradise” after getting his feet wet on “The Bachelor.” “Bachelor in Paradise” will air over two nights in the fall of 2022, Mondays and Tuesdays, taking over the Monday slot from “Dancing With the Stars,” which is moving to Disney Plus for its 31st and 32nd seasons.

Unscripted shows “Cark Sharks,” “The Hustler,” “Match Game” and “Celebrity Dating Game” were all canceled by ABC, as were scripted dramas “Queens” and “Promised Land.” Every other scripted show on ABC was renewed and new shows “Alaska,” “The Rookie: Feds” and “Not Dead Yet” were ordered to series.

“American Idol” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.

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