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American Idol

American Idol

Photo Credit:  ABC
  • Premiered: 
    June 11, 2002
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Fox
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the UK series Pop Idol 
  • Subject Matter: Talent
  • Tags: singing

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  • Season 6 Finale
    • Amazon
Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

In this reality talent show tens of thousand of contestants from across the nation audition for a shot at stardom and a chance to be on the show. Competing hopefuls sing their hearts out for a panel of expert industry judges and for the television audience. Viewers vote weekly for their favorite performers, eventually choosing a winner who receives a major recording contract and the AMERICAN IDOL title. Past winners Kelly Clarkson (Season 1); Ruben Studdard (Season 2); Fantasia Barrino (Season 3); Carrie Underwood (Season 4); Taylor Hicks (Season 5); Jordin Sparks (Season 6); David Cook (Season 7); Kris Allen (Season 8); Lee DeWyze (Season 9); Scotty McCreery (Season 10); Phillip Phillips (Season 11); Candice Glover (Season 12); Caleb Johnson (Season 13); Nick Fradiani (Season 14); Trent Harmon (Season 15); Maddie Poppe (Season 16); Laine Hardy (Season 17). Plus, IDOL has introduced fan-favorites Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry and Jessica Sanchez, who have all become household names and made their marks on the recording industry.

When FOX premiered Season 12 of IDOL on January 16, 2013 at 8pm ET/PT, three new judges -- Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban -- joined long-standing judge Randy Jackson to find America's next singing superstar.

AMERICAN IDOL returned for its 14th season for a two-night premiere on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 from 8-9pm ET/PT and Thursday, January 8, 2015 from 8-10pm ET/PT, with Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. returning as judges and Ryan Seacrest again hosting. With long-time judge leaving his Season 13 role as Mentor, Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group, will help shape the career of the competition's winner in Season 14 by being involved early on in the competition -- through the live shows, to the final winning moment and beyond.

Season 15 of AMERICAN IDOL premiered on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 from 8-10pm ET/PT on FOX as part of a two-night premiere event that continued on Thursday, January 7 from 8-10pm. For the show's fifteenth season, host Ryan Seacrest and judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., pay tribute to the past 14 seasons, the talented contestants and the millions of fans who called, tweeted, texted and championed their IDOLS. The audition journey will feature auditions from Denver, CO; Little Rock, AR; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; and Atlanta, GA. Hopefuls from around the country will be given one last shot to sing for a ticket to Hollywood and become the final AMERICAN IDOL. Once again, Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group, returned as mentor to help shape the career of the competition's winner.

AMERICAN IDOL returned to the airwaves on Sunday, March 11, 2018 from 8-10pm ET/PT on its new home: ABC. The nationwide search for the next superstar kicked off in August 2017, as the Idol Bus traveled from Portland, Oregon, to Orlando, Florida, in its pursuit for talent, covering 23 cities across the country and searching for talented musicians from far and wide -- from garage band rockers to national anthem singers to caretakers -- who all have the same passion: a love for music. In the first audition episode, the show heads to New York, Los Angeles and Nashville where aspiring singers auditions for a chance to see if they have what it takes to earn the coveted golden ticket to Hollywood. Helping to determine who America will ultimately vote for to become the next singing sensation, are music industry forces and superstar judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Ryan Seacrest returned as host.

A new season of AMERICAN IDOL -- its second season on ABC and 17th overall -- premiered on Sunday, March 3, 2019 from 8-10pm ET/PT on ABC. Returning this season to discover an all-new crop of inspiring singers are music industry legends and all-star judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as well as Ryan Seacrest as host. Famed multimedia personality Bobby Bones takes on the role of in-house mentor. In the season opener, viewers embark on a nation-wide journey starting with the shows' famed judge auditions in Louisville, Kentucky; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; and Denver, Colorado, where aspiring singers discover if they have what it takes to earn a coveted golden ticket to Hollywood.

The 18th season of AMERICAN IDOL -- the show's third season on ABC -- premiered on Sunday, February 16, 2020 from 8-10pm ET/PT on ABC. Returning this season to discover the next singing sensation are judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as well as Ryan Seacrest as host. Bobby Bones returns to his role as in-house mentor. In the two-hour season opener, viewers embark on a nation-wide journey across Savannah, GA; Milwaukee, WI; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles, CA; and Sunriver, OR, where the show's judge auditions surprise audiences with never-before-seen twists. Those auditioning for the coveted ticket to Hollywood include a subway performer from Harlem who gives one of the most emotional auditions in IDOL history; a garbage collector with no experience who heads to the streets of Savannah, alongside host Ryan Seacrest, to warm up for his audition; and a hopeless romantic who encounters her own fairy tale twist during her audition as she sings from the heart.
On Sunday, May 17, 2020 from 8-10pm ET/PT, ABC premiered "316 (On with the Show: Grand Finale)," the season finale of AMERICAN IDOL. Kicking off the finale event following America's last nationwide vote, the road comes to an end for two contestants in the Top 5 reveal. The Top 5 then each perform two songs as they fight to win the coveted AMERICAN IDOL title. The first song celebrates their induction into the Top 5, and the second is a previously performed song and their new official AMERICAN IDOL single. Before America's real-time vote determines the winner live on the East Coast broadcast, don't miss special performances from music legends including IDOL's very own superstar judges, the return of the Top 11 and a fan favorite from this season! In the first TV performance of "We are the World" in 35 years, former Idols and judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan join Lionel Richie to close the show with an Idol family performance dedicated to all the families at home around the world. Grand finale performances include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo and Top 11 to perform a medley of iconic Aretha Franklin songs

- GRAMMY winner Lauren Daigle and Top 5 to perform 3x platinum hit "You Say"

- Superstar vocal group Rascal Flatts and Doug Kiker to perform "Bless The Broken Road"

- Luke Bryan to perform his new single "One Margarita"

- Katy Perry to perform her new single "Daisies" in its first-ever TV debut

- Lionel Richie to perform "We are the World" joined by Idol judges and members of the AMERICAN IDOL family, including Alejandro Aranda aka Scarypoolparty, Fantasia Taylor, Gabby Barrett, Jordin Sparks, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Laine Hardy, Lauren Alaina, Phillip Phillips, Ruben Studdard and Scotty McCreery

Two days earlier -- on Friday, May 15 -- ABC announced that it renewed AMERICAN IDOL for its 19th season overall, marking its fourth season on ABC.


Other Titles

  • Also known as American Idol: The Search for a Superstar

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by 19 Entertainment
  • Produced by FremantleMedia North America