Fans were thrilled when Channel Seven confirmed Australian Idol would be making a return to screens 12 years after it last aired.
But on Wednesday, the network was forced to deny rumours the highly anticipated show would be dropped from the channel’s 2022 line-up.
‘As we announced in October last year, Australian Idol will be on Seven in 2022,’ a Seven spokesperson told TV Tonight.
It will be back! Channel Seven has been forced to deny rumours that Australian Idol is being axed, after New Idea reported the show would not go ahead in 2022
The network’s denial comes after New Idea reported on Monday that Idol had been ‘axed’ amid tensions between Seven and production company Fremantle concerning the show’s pre-recorded format.
In October, the show’s return to television after 12 years was confirmed as part of Channel Seven’s 2022 prime-time line-up.
The talent show is famous for discovering a string of top-selling artists, including Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Casey Donovan, Matt Corby and Ricki-Lee Coulter.
Angus Ross, Seven’s Director of Programming, said at the time: ‘Idol is the granddaddy of them all! The biggest show in the world comes to Seven in 2022, and we know Australians are going to love it.
‘We can’t wait to bring Idol back to Australian audiences in 2022, putting our prime time content line-up even further ahead of the competition.’
Launching careers: The talent show is famous for discovering a string of top-selling artists, including Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Casey Donovan, Matt Corby and Ricki-Lee Coulter. Pictured: season one winner Guy Sebastian performing in Sydney on November 13, 2003
‘We’re home to the biggest franchises in television at Seven, and Idol is the biggest of them all. Bring on 2022!’ Mr Ross added.
Fremantle Asia Pacific’s CEO, Chris Oliver-Taylor, also said: ‘Idol is renowned for launching global music artists. That’s what we’ve done here in Australia and across the world. We can’t wait to break the next superstar Idols on Seven in 2022.’
Australian Idol is a Fremantle and Eureka co-production for the Seven Network and will premiere on Channel Seven and 7plus in 2022.
Based on the global Pop Idol format – the most-watched TV franchise in history – Australian Idol aired from 2003 to 2009 on Channel 10.
Industry gossip: Australian Idol was hosted by Osher Günsberg (right) and James Mathison (left) from 2003 to 2007, before former contestant Ricki-Lee Coulter joined them in 2008. The following year, James left the show and it was hosted by Osher and Ricki-Lee. Pictured in 2005
Success: Unlike other singing shows, Australian Idol has a track record for making bona fide stars, the most notable being its inaugural winner, Guy Sebastian (pictured at the 2019 ARIAs)
Champion: The first season of Australian Idol was a ratings bonanza and attracted more viewers than major events such as the AFL grand final
Many TV insiders had predicted an Idol revival on Seven as the network had already brought back Big Brother and The Farmer Wants a Wife in 2020.
Channel 10 had originally bought rights to the Idol franchise for $15million in 2003.
The first season was a ratings bonanza and attracted more viewers than major events such as the AFL Grand Final.
Unlike other singing shows, Australian Idol has a track record for making bona fide stars, the most notable being its inaugural winner, Guy Sebastian.
Reboot central: Many TV insiders had predicted an Idol revival on Seven as the network had already brought back Big Brother and The Farmer Wants a Wife in 2020. Pictured: hosts James and Osher with season two finalists Casey Donovan and Anthony Callea on November 21, 2004
In May, New Idea reported that former judge Marcia Hines had been offered a contract to join the panel in 2022.
At the time, the publication reported she wanted to change her persona from the ‘nice judge’ to the ‘mean judge’.
‘Dicko [Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson] was always known as the “mean judge” but producers are keen for Marcia to step up as the tough and controversial judge this time round,’ a source said at the time.
She’s back! Marcia Hines is determined to be the straight-talking ‘villain’ judge when she returns to Australian Idol next year, reports New Idea