For anyone wondering how ABC plans to put a new twist on “American Idol,” a show that has been off the airwaves for less than two years, a panel Monday at the Television Critics Assn. winter press tour cleared things up… a little.
Returning host Ryan Seacrest was joined by the show’s new trio of judges — pop star Katy Perry, country singer Luke Bryan and R&B legend Lionel Richie — and a team of producers to discuss the revival, which premieres in March.
Details about the show were scant, while talk of “dreams coming true” and “inspiration” was plentiful. But here’s the information we were able to glean:
None of the judges could name the winners of the last three seasons of “American Idol” — Perry dodged the question from a reporter, who was making the point that in its later seasons, the Fox version of “American Idol” was no longer churning out actual American idols, with the declaration that “literally, we are wasting our time if we do not find a star.” Her fellow judges were similarly evasive. (For the record, the winners in question were Trent Harmon, Nick Fradiani and Caleb Johnson.)
No one is really the new Simon Cowell, but Perry comes closest — When the panel was asked who would be the “bad cop” of the revival, Perry replied, “I’m blunt, but I can’t be mean because I’m a woman.” Showrunner Trish Kinane said they weren’t looking to replicate the success of the original by finding another Cowell or a Randy Jackson type. That said, Perry is “brutally honest,” according to Kinane. “If she doesn’t think they’ve got what it takes, she will try and steer them somewhere else.”
Don’t expect another William Hung — Kinane told reporters that the show wouldn’t feature so many bloopers of people who can’t sing. “It doesn’t feel comfortable to put borderline unstable people up and laugh at them,” she said, sounding very unlike a reality television producer. “We want the humor, but we don’t want the exploitation.”
But also don’t expect the show to be all that different from the original — “There’s been a lot of talk about how is this show different. You’ve got three different faces. You have different contestants. But to change the show drastically in terms of format, I think, would be a mistake,” Seacrest said, emphasizing that, at its core, “American Idol” is basically the same as ever. “We go out. We look for young, talented people. They see the judges. They come back to Hollywood and then they’ll have to step up.”
Seacrest wears Uggs on the plane — The host spends a lot of time flying back and forth from Los Angeles to New York, where he hosts “Live With Kelly and Ryan,” and he likes to be comfortable. This information is not necessarily that relevant to “American Idol,” but we felt the need to share it anyway.
“CBS This Morning” co-host and longtime Oprah Winfrey best buddy Gayle King found herself in the hot seat Tuesday morning, as her colleagues voiced the question that America has been asking for days: “Will Oprah run?”
The answer was a definitive probably not (but maybe).
King suggested that Winfrey’s beau, Stedman Graham, had “misinterpreted” the question when a Los Angeles Times reporter asked him at Sunday night’s Golden Globes if he thought Winfrey would run for president.
I would make a lousy rock star. I don’t have the right voice for it. I don’t have the ‘sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll’ spirit. But the greatest flattery in the last couple of years is being called a ‘badass’ by young singers.
James Taylor will return to the Hollywood Bowl in May for a pair of headlining shows with fellow perennial hit-maker Bonnie Raitt.
Backed by his band of all-star players, Taylor will hit the Bowl on May 31 and June 1, with tickets going on sale Jan. 19 through Ticketmaster. The performances are part of a joint tour by the two legends, with dates kicking off in early May.
The tour comes on the heels of Taylor’s 2015 comeback album, “Before This World,” his first No. 1 record (and first in 13 years). Raitt has also revved up in recent years, releasing a pair of well-received albums, 2012’s “Slipstream” and 2016’s “Dig in Deep.”
From queens to handmaids, doctors to dorks, PaleyFest LA 2018 has a little something for everyone.
The Paley Center for Media announced Tuesday the lineup for its 35th-anniversary festival celebrating television, including panels with the casts and crews of some of the most acclaimed shows on the air.
“Queen Sugar,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Good Doctor” and “Silicon Valley” will all be featured during the event, which will take place March 16-25 at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.
ABC will take some advice from “The Good Doctor” when developing new shows for next season.
“I do want to focus on shows that are lighter, brighter, more emotional, shows that give the audience a chance to connect and to feel,” ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said Monday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena.
Dungey believes the success of “The Good Doctor” is a signal that viewers are looking for emotional uplift. The series starring Freddie Highmore as a surgeon with autism and Savant syndrome is the biggest new drama of the season.
Shonda Rhimes might have a new home at Netflix, but that doesn’t mean she has completely moved out of ABC.
The prolific producer made the rounds Monday at ABC’s day of panels at the Television Critics Assn. press tour to promote two new shows — “For the People” and the upcoming “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off — that are under her production company, Shondaland.
And she found herself addressing what her multi-year deal at Netflix, which would have her production company making all new shows for the streaming giant, will mean for her group of shows at ABC, which also include “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away With Murder.”
Here’s one way to get the party started: Pink will sing the national anthem next month during Super Bowl LII pregame festivities, the National Football League announced Monday.
Perhaps this is what she was talking about Friday when she tweeted, “I’m really looking forward to 2018. I’m really excited about the Grammy’s. Tour. Some other stuff that’s a secret still and I can’t wait til it’s not a secret”?
In October, the NFL named Justin Timberlake as halftime entertainment for the Feb. 4 face-off. With Pink now doing "The Star-Spangled Banner," that leaves only the "America the Beautiful" singing slot unfilled.
A note to Seth Meyers: Jimmy Kimmel owes you a beer or two.
The late-night host, who will reprise his role as emcee of this year’s Oscars telecast amid an industry-wide reckoning over sexual abuse, tipped his hat to Meyers, who had the tricky task of hosting the first post-Weinstein awards show with Sunday’s Golden Globes — a feat he likened to being the first dog shot into space.
“I felt like Seth made a joke that was made specifically for me,” he told reporters Monday at the Television Critics Assn. winter press tour in Pasadena. “I did feel that way: ‘I have to see what Seth says and how it is received.’ I do thank him for being that litmus test.”