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How ‘American Idol’ is buying time during the coronavirus pandemic

‘American Idol’ will announce the show’s top 20 finalists during the final pre-taped episode scheduled for April 5

Collin DeClerk, production assistant, tries to get the crowd excited while filming before “American Idol” auditions outside of the Northwest Community Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.
Collin DeClerk, production assistant, tries to get the crowd excited while filming before “American Idol” auditions outside of the Northwest Community Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. “American Idol” has adjusted its production schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

American Idol” is adjusting its schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What’s going on

  • American Idol” announced on March 17 that it had canceled rehearsals and sent the show’s remaining contestants home because of concerns over the pandemic, the Deseret News reported. The announcement came just two weeks before the live performances were set to begin.
  • On Friday, “Idol” producers announced they would air the pre-taped Hawaii episodes on Sunday, March 29, and Sunday, April 5. The two episodes were originally set to air during the same week, according to Deadline.
  • “American Idol” will announce the show’s top 20 finalists during the final pre-taped episode scheduled for April 5.

Buying time

  • After the pre-taped episodes air, “Idol” is taking the footage from rehearsals with the top 20 contestants — about four hours worth of content — and running special episodes on April 12 and April 19 called “American Idol: This is Me,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
  • The episodes explore the lives of the top 20 contestants.
  • This production plan helps the show buy time as producers figure out how — and when — they can proceed with the live episodes of performances and eliminations.
  • In the meantime, ABC is “monitoring the situation and exploring multiple options within statewide guidelines,” Deadline reported.
  • No new “Idol” episodes will air on Mondays for the foreseeable future.

What about ‘The Voice’?

  • Producers for NBC’s hit singing competition, “The Voice,” will likely have to make a similar decision in the coming weeks. “The Voice” is currently airing its pre-taped battles and knockout rounds.
  • The first live broadcast of “The Voice” is scheduled to air May 4, according to the Deseret News.