ABC turns to Apple for help producing ‘American Idol’ from home during COVID-19

The entertainment industry continues to rely on Apple products and services to continue production amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report from Deadline today details how ABC is working closely with Apple to continue production of American Idol from home.

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American Idol showrunner Trish Kinane explained to Deadline that the production team quickly put together a plan for remote live production of the show during the COVID-19 shutdown. During that planning process, it became clear that the easiest solution was to send contestants an iPhone.

Kinane explained that rather than send a camera that you “really need a camera operator to use,” the American Idol production team opted for something that kids are “really familiar with” already:

In the end, we decided rather than send them some complicated camera that you really need a camera operator to use, we would go with the the technology that they’re familiar with. These top of the range iPhones are amazing. It wouldn’t surprise me if we were using iPhones in the studio in the future.

ABC executive Rob Mills added that the network is working “hand-in-hand” with Apple:

We are blessed to live in a day and age where we have technology, even if this had happened five years ago, I don’t know if it would be possible. There is a real can-do spirit here that is exciting and exhausting, it’s been fun to figure it out.

If this story sounds familiar, it’s because this isn’t the first time a TV show has turned to Apple technology for at-home production during the coronavirus outbreak:

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Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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