ABC has officially announced that American Idol season 4 is on the way. However, for a second year in a row, the announcement comes without deals for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie, along with host Ryan Seacrest. If the upcoming season follows the path from season 3, deals will be finalized a few months from now, though that has not been officially confirmed at this time. Perry has a new album coming out and is currently pregnant, so it is unclear if she'll be back right away or if she'll take a break before returning to the hit series.

American Idol is currently working remotely to finish out season 18, which concludes this evening (Sunday, May 17th). The hit show has been with ABC for a total of three seasons thus far, but next season will mark its 19th overall. While the series is still a hit, it has seen some declining ratings over the last season, though that is the case for all network TV at the moment as people tend to be using a variety of streaming services while stuck indoors. While the ratings are down, they are still up 23% when compared to last season, according to ABC.

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Tonight's American Idol 2-hour finale performances include Cynthia Erivo performing a medley of songs from the Aretha Franklin with the show's top 11: Lauren Daigle and the Top 5 will perform "You Say"; Rascal Flatts and Doug Kiker will perform "Bless the Broken Road"; Luke Bryan will perform his new single, "One Margarita"; Katy Perry will perform her new single "Daisies"; and Lionel Richie will perform "We are the World" joined by his fellow judges, the top 11 and members of the Idol family.

All of the judges and contestants are continuing to perform from home to practice safe social distancing. Many were under the impression that American Idol would have to cancel or postpone season 18, but they have found a way to move forward, which has been entertaining for fans to watch. While staying indoors isn't always the most fun thing to do, the entertainment industry has been stepping up its game in order to spread some positivity. Additionally, streaming technology is also receiving a huge boost, since that's how we all communicate now.

American Idol is produced by Fremantle and Industrial Media's 19 Entertainment. Executive producers include Fremantle's Trish Kinane, who also serves as showrunner, Jennifer Mullin and Megan Wolflick, with Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman serving as executive producers for 19 Entertainment. Fremantle distributes the series worldwide. You can tune into ABC tonight at 5pm PT/8pm ET to check out the two-hour season finale. Who will end up claiming victory this time around? The official American Idol Twitter account was the first to announce the season 4 renewal.

Kevin Burwick at TVweb
Kevin Burwick