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'American Idol' Creator Simon Fuller Hints at Show's Return: 'See You in 2018'

Billboard logo Billboard 12/09/2016 Michele Amabile Angermiller
American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. © AP Photo American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.

Is American Idol poised for a comeback in 2018? Series creator Simon Fuller seemed to be insinuating just that while accepting a special Governors Award at the Creative Arts Emmys on Sunday night.

"It's been 15 years, and this is the first Emmy we've actually won for the show. Can you believe that?" he said, before cheekily turning to Fox Broadcasting CEO Dana Walden to tease a return.

"Dana, thank you for bringing the show back in 2018," he said. "We can't wait to make it."

In his speech, which followed a performance of "Over the Rainbow" by season five runnerup Katharine McPhee, Fuller thanked Idol contestants and judges, Fox's former President of Alternative Entertainment Mike Darnell, and the show's "three Englishmen": Simon Cowell, Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe. 

Fuller then acknowledged Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who was once again nominated for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program (RuPaul's Drag Race host RuPaul Charles took home the award). Fuller said, "See you in 2018, mate." 

But, while onstage it might have sounded as if the show's return was a fait accompli, Fuller later told Yahoo he was simply "being mischievious."

Prior to the presentation of the Governors Award, the chairman and CEO of the Television Academy, Bruce Rosenblum, commented on how Idol made television history.

"With its successful integration of a social media, dominance over pop culture, and legions of imitators ... you can meaningfully divide the history of television into 'before American Idol' and 'after American Idol,'" Rosenblum said. "Idol transformed reality television from something that was a novelty into mainstream programing … Its enormous audience may be among the last of its kind."

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