ABC has shifted scheduling for American Idol amidst of the Coronavirus pandemic and is exploring “multiple” options for its live shows.
The network is spreading its next two episodes, set in Aulani, across two weeks rather than one. The next two episodes will air on Sunday March 29 between 8pm and 10pm and Sunday April 5 in the same timeslot. It was previously planned to have the Hawaii showcase eps run on March 29 and March 30.
As a result, it will run a repeat of Celebrity Family Feud and a special edition of ABC News’ 20/20 on COVID-19 on March 30, followed by the season finale of The Good Doctor.
The live shows were set to air on Monday April 6 but instead will be replaced by two repeats of Celebrity Family Feud, followed by primetime special, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Secrets & Surprises, produced by ABC News.
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On Sunday April 12 and Sunday April 19, it will air American Idol: This is Me, which will look at the lives of our Top 20 contestants, with unseen footage and performance highlights.
In terms of the live shows, the network is “monitoring” the situation and said that it is “exploring multiple options within statewide guidelines”. An ABC spokeswoman added, “We will share a production plan as soon as it’s in place.”
This comes after prep work on the live shows, including rehearsals with the finalists, was suspended, sources said. Contestants went home to be with their families amid escalating coronavirus outbreak. The decision by American Idol producer Fremantle was made following Los Angeles County’s new strict guidelines prohibiting large gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, Fremantle has instituted working remotely as editing on the final pre-taped Idol episodes continues. Because of its scope and number of hours delivered, American Idol has a large producing team and employs a big crew.
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