The network is exploring ways to bring the live portion of the singing talent show — on which Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan serve as judges — to audiences amid coronavirus pandemic.

By Ruth Kinane
March 27, 2020 at 01:30 PM EDT
American Idol
Credit: Scott Patrick Green/ABC

ABC has shifted the schedule for American Idol as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The network announced on Friday that it is exploring “multiple” options for the singing competition's live episodes. Work on the live shows — including rehearsals with the finalists — was suspended earlier in the month due to the restrictions put in place as a result of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, and contestants returned home to be with their families.

The next two episodes of the show, where the Top 40 contestants will perform in a concert-setting for judges Katy PerryLionel Richie, and Luke Bryan from Disney's Aulani resort in Hawaii, will be spread across two weeks instead of the originally-planned one, now airing on Sunday, March 29 and Sunday, April 5, both at 8 p.m.

The Hawaii episode originally scheduled to air on March 30 will be replaced by a repeat of Celebrity Family Feud and a special edition of ABC News’ 20/20 on COVID-19, followed at 10 p.m. by the season finale of The Good Doctor. Additionally, the live shows that were set to air on Monday, April 6 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. Then, on April 12 and 19, ABC will air American Idol: This is Me — a look at the lives of the show's Top 20 contestants, with unseen footage and performance highlights.

As for what the pandemic means for the live shows, the network said in a statement that it is “monitoring the situation and exploring multiple options within statewide guidelines" and "will share a production plan as soon as it’s in place."

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