Country music’s Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie signed to be judges on the reboot of “American Idol.” The singing competition will now air on ABC, and Bryan and Richie complete the judging panel, along with Katie Perry. Ryan Seacrest will return to host the series. The panel will make their debut appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday (10/4).
“I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams,” said Bryan. “To be in a position in my career to help facilitate this along with the other judges is just a complete honor. It’s gonna be a blast!”
“I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke and Ryan on ‘American Idol,’” said Richie. “As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table. It’s going to be so much fun!”
“Luke and Lionel are the perfect additions to round out our panel of judges for ‘American Idol’ on ABC,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “In their respective genres of music, both Luke and Lionel possess insurmountable popularity and award-winning talent that are undeniable, and we are lucky that they will help in paving the way for hopefuls pursuing their dreams on our stage.”
Trish Kinane, president of Entertainment Programming, FremantleMedia North America, executive producer and showrunner of “American Idol,” said, “We have taken our time to get the right mix of amazing talent for the new Idol judging panel. Our viewers expect musical credibility, passion and a true concern for the contestants; and with Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie joining the brilliant Katy Perry, we have two more world-class musical powerhouses eager to get to work and identify the next generation of superstars.”
Peter Hurwitz, CEO and president of 19 Entertainment-parent Core Media Group, said, “This extraordinary panel of judges speaks volumes about the continued power of the ‘American Idol’ brand. We are thrilled to have Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan join Katy Perry and, ultimately, millions of viewers as we begin this new era on ABC.”
Yesterday, Bryan kicked off his ninth annual Farm Tour performing in six cities through October 7. Since the tour’s inception in 2009, Bryan has awarded 50 scholarships to a local student from a farming family within the communities the tour has played. Bryan will also continue his Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour through October.
When “American Idol” debuted in the U.S., the series revolutionized television, pioneering the reality-competition genre and holding an unmatched record for being the highest-rated series for nearly a decade. The series also ushered in second-screen audience participation, being the first to introduce text-based and mobile voting. The “Idol” format has taken on original versions in 55 countries around the world, and “American Idol” itself has played to a worldwide audience of over 460 million across 53 countries. At its new home on ABC, “American Idol” will continue to be a force in the television landscape, reaching every corner of the country in its search for the next great music sensation.
“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin along with co-executive producer, Megan Wolflick. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.