American Idol Season 3 officially has a return date. Host Ryan Seacrest took to social media Thursday to announce that the singing competition will premiere on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. In the video, Seacrest FaceTimes judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie as well as in-house mentor (and Dancing With the Stars champ) Bobby Bones to announce the big news.
In the clip, the judges jokingly give Seacrest a hard time for calling. "Come on, Ryan. I'm in the middle of something," Bryan said.
"Will you just hurry up and tell us already," Perry said when Bones butted into the call, insisting that he share the fun news.
"We have a premiere date!" Bones said.
"Mark your calendars, because American Idol is back," Seacrest said. "February 16th, all new. You ready?"
It will mark the third season of the rebooted show on ABC with Perry, Bryan and Richie, although it originally aired for 15 seasons on Fox with various celebrity judges before it was canceled in 2015 — which makes the upcoming season the show's 18th season overall. ABC revived the series in 2017.
Seacrest confirmed in September that he would be returning for Season 18, telling Deadline at the time, "American has been my home for 17 seasons and I can't wait to return to the stage. It's the greatest gift to be able to play a part in discovering new talent with a franchise that has been such a relevant part of American culture for so many years."
Bryan told PopCulture.com last month that he, Perry and Richie are "settled in" to their roles as judges — and have been for a few months now throughout the audition process.
"I love it. I'm settled in," Bryan shared with PopCulture.com and other media. "Me and Lionel and Katy and Bobby and Ryan, we're in our stride. What I love about American Idol is me and Lionel and Katy, we could tell jokes all day long and have antics and be goofy and all that, but when a great, when an amazingly talented kid walks in that room, that's when the show starts happening.
"We're in the audition process, and the talent keeps rolling through the door," he teased.
Meanwhile, Bones exclusively told PopCulture.com in September that he couldn't wait to get involved in the audition process.
"It's my third season being on the show, since it's at ABC," Bones said. "The first season, I just went in and was only going to do one episode. They said 'Hey, come in as a mentor one episode,' and that rolled over to two it ended up being four that season. So they brought me back full-time last season, but I missed the very beginning of that show, because I was still dancing on Dancing with the Stars. This is the first season that I'll be all the way in from the beginning from the audition process. We actually go to Savannah, Georgia next week and start."
"Me, Luke, Lionel, Katie, and Ryan will all be at all these stops," Bones said. "And what's cool about that is, American Idol's the only show that goes out into the cities. A lot of the other shows, you have to go and audition and hopefully you get put through, but Idol, we pack up our stuff and we go and make sure that people can get there and I think that's why you get a lot of people with great stories.
American Idol will return to ABC on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian / Stringer / Getty