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‘Idol’ may get another shot on NBC

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Randy Jackson, left, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell, right, speak during the “American Idol” farewell season finale at the Dolby Theatre in April 2016 in Los Angeles.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Trent Harmon, center, winner of “American Idol” The Farewell Season celebrates with fellow contestants during the season finale at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles last year.

Even by the standards of an industry all too happy to revive canceled shows, this is exceptionally fast.

NBC is in discussions to potentially bring back “American Idol,” according to a person briefed on the plans.

FremantleMedia, the production company behind “Idol,” approached NBC recently with a plan to revive the show, which was canceled at Fox and went off the air nine months ago. The two sides are not close to a deal and the discussions could very well fall apart, the person added.

Variety reported the news earlier.

“American Idol,” the talent show that debuted in 2002, was a monster hit for Fox, before its ratings cratered the last few years it was on the air.

It’s not unheard-of for canceled shows to make a comeback: The comedy “The Mindy Project” found a home at Hulu after Fox canceled it; the soapy drama “Nashville” went to CMT after appearing on ABC. But it is rare for a canceled show from one of the four broadcast networks to find a new home at a rival network, and at this speed.

NBC would have the added complication of finding time for “Idol,” since it has a sturdy schedule and a singing competition show of its own, “The Voice,” which runs both in its fall and in midseason. (It also has “America’s Got Talent,” which is a ratings success in the summer).

NBC executives are also having discussions about spinning off the Weekend Update segment of “Saturday Night Live” into its own prime time show.

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