"American Idol" has only been off the air a year, but seems it's still the hottest property out there, because we've learned ABC has now made an offer to buy the show.
Sources at ABC and Fremantle -- the company that produces the show -- tell TMZ the network contacted Fremantle last week and made the bid. We're told the network wanted to reboot the show for a March 2018 premiere.
We're also told ABC inquired about making Ryan Seacrest the host, but even last week the network knew it was on the verge of signing Ryan as co-host of 'Live' with Kelly Ripa. As a result, we're told ABC asked if the show could be shot in New York, which is now Ryan's home base. Our sources say Fremantle made it clear ... NYC was a no-go. The show will be shot in L.A.
We're told Ryan hasn't been approached by ABC about hosting the show and our ABC sources say it's virtually out of the question, given his commitment to 'Live.'
TMZ broke the story ... NBC and FOX were in a bidding war a few months ago to get the show, but Fremantle stopped negotiating because of squabbling with CORE, co-owner of 'A.I.'
Our sources say Fremantle is going back to CORE to see if they can agree to negotiate with ABC, and go back to NBC and FOX.