Featuring host Ryan Seacrest and returning judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, television's No. 1 series continues with a special, extended broadcast.
Every year, tens of thousands of hopefuls from across the nation audition for a shot at stardom. The show's judges – Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler – travel across the country in search of the next American Idol.
They narrow down the competitors to a select group of semifinalists who sing their hearts out each week in front of a studio audience and television viewers.
The judges have their say after every performance, but it's the viewing public that determines who will advance to the next round of competition and who will go home. Telephone, text message and online voting begin immediately after each performance show, and the results are announced during the following night's broadcast.
Eventually the competition is whittled down to two finalists who compete for a major recording contract and the American Idol title.
Past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze and Scotty McCreery, as well as fan-favourites Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, have all become household names and made their mark on the recording industry.
Nominated for ten 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards, American Idol is produced by 19 Entertainment, a division of CKX, Inc. and FremantleMedia North America Inc.
The series is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, CEO, XIX Entertainment and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Nigel Lythgoe, CEO, Nigel Lythgoe Productions.