Production has reportedly begun on the fourth season of ABC’s singing competition reality show. Idol was one of the first shows to be impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic earlier this year — they had to quickly shift to remote shows, which were filmed at contestants’ homes rather than in a studio with a live audience. Now that the new season is underway, Idol is once again having to adjust to the new normal.
In previous seasons, the show would film contestants auditioning from different states across the country. Last year some of the locations included Georgia, Oregon and Ohio, but this time around, all of the audition episodes will be filmed at locations across California and contestants will be flown in from around the country to these specific locations.
Judges Katy Perry — who gave birth to her first child earlier this year — Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan are all back alongside host Ryan Seacrest. Instead of the A-list trio sitting at the same table, Deadline is reporting that each judge will have its own table.
The outlet also revealed that FremantleMedia’s President of Entertainment Programming Trish Kinane has "put in place rigorous health and safety protocols to ensure that the set is as safe as possible."
Additionally, the "cast and crew are all being tested" regularly and in accordance with local, state and industry guidelines. There will also be "social distancing on set" and cast and crew "will be required to wear masks" when not on camera.
Idol’s production company, Fremantle, is no stranger to producing top quality shows amid the pandemic. The company has recently pulled off production on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and ABC’s reboot of Supermarket Sweep.
OK! previously reported that Idol would be holding their a "live virtual audition tour" called Idol Across America, where artists use "custom-built Zoom technology" to show off their skills. The hit singing show held remote auditions across all 50 states and in D.C. in August and September.