Here are ABC's American Idol 16 ratings expectations

The new American Idol premieres Sunday on ABC and you'll be hearing some Chicago area voices singing out to prove they're ready for stardom. The stigma of music competition series (not to mention their failure to create big stars in recent years) may actively deter potential superstars from considering the show. American Idol airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC. Season 16 of the popular reality television talent show will begin Sunday, March 11, with the screening of auditions, which were held in several locations across the Unites States a year ago.

Later this season, fans can use the app to vote for their favorite "American Idol" contestant to move forward.

Still, given that Seacrest remains in the middle of a social-media storm, this could become an issue when "American Idol" goes to live episodes on April 22. It's a show that positions itself as the embodiment of the American dream, and then turns people's dreams into dollars for itself, frequently by making young people into mockeries, and, yes, sometimes turning them into stars.

So it's with mild annoyance that I report that Sunday's two-hour premiere is more fun than I expected, and not just because it's bookended by the auditions of Langhorne's Catie Turner and West Philadelphia's Dennis Lorenzo.

ABC isn't messing much with the "Idol" formula, and host Ryan Seacrest will resume the job he had for the first 15 seasons.

What: The singing competition reality show returns on a new network. Still, her cameo might remind viewers of "Idol's" two other big-name alums - Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. But the last two years were untold decades in our psychological calendar, so maybe it's time.

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The season premiere of ABC's "American Idol" airs at 8PM ET/PT on Sunday, March 11.

During his audition, Glaze admitted to Perry and her fellow judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie that he had never kissed anyone before.

Nay-sayers also point out that at least part of the appeal of the Fox "Idol" was the judging panel's personalities, particularly the notorious acidity of sinister Simon Cowell.

I was initially concerned that the show was again going in the celebrity judge direction, and especially after her hosting of the MTV Video Music Awards, Katy Perry's expensive casting did not give me hope.

Even Ryan Seacrest, who may come in for extra scrutiny this season after a former stylist's accusations of sexual misconduct - allegations he's denied - seems to have toned down the snark a little. "We've talked about [whether we can do] a digital show following some of the winners", adds Rob Mills, ABC's head of alternative programming.

"We wanted judges with credibility, who knew what they were talking about, were huge successes in their own right, who were articulate and who generally cared about the contestants", executive producer Trish Kinane told reporters in January. But Lionel changes his vote to YES.

  • Michelle Webb