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Sorry, Star Search—your talent show doesn’t hold a candle to American Idol. Since 2002, young amateurs from across America put their pipes on the line in a no-holds-barred singing competition. The series has introduced the world to major pop stars, including Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Carrie Underwood.
After running strong for 15 seasons on Fox, American Idol waved goodbye in 2016. But the people’s thirst for musical battle royales could drown the lower 48, so the series returned in March 2018 on ABC. Music legends Katy Perry and Lionel Richie serve as judges, along with country music star Luke Bryan. And it wouldn’t be Idol without Ryan Seacrest helming hosting duties.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch American Idol online for free.
American Idol season 2 judges
- Katy Perry
- Luke Bryan
- Lionel Richie
What channel is American Idol season 2 on?
American Idol will be broadcast on ABC.
What time does American Idol season 2 start?
American Idol starts Sunday, March 3 at 8pm PT. New episodes air will follow on Sundays at the same time.
How to watch American Idol season 2 online for free
All of the major live TV streaming services offer a one-week trial, so you can watch the latest episodes of American Idol for free. But they all vary in terms of which local channels they offer and their coverage areas. In some cases, a live version of ABC won’t be available; instead, the service will offer an on-demand version, allowing you to watch the next day. Be sure to use the links below to see exactly which channels you’ll receive with each service.
If you live in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Boston, Dallas, or Washington, D.C., you can also try Locast, a non-for-profit service that lets you stream all of your local channels through any web browser. It’s a free service, but donations are encouraged.
- Cost: $44.95 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV is one of the most popular ways to stream live. You gain access to a massive library of on-demand content, including classic and current TV shows, movies, plus Hulu’s original programming. As far as live-streaming goes, you’ll have almost 60 channels to flip through, including HGTV, a full suite of ESPN channels, Cartoon Network, FX, and even deep cuts like Nat Geo Wild and Syfy. (Here’s the complete list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
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- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you want your gaming and streaming needs met in the same place, PlayStation Vue was made for you. Jumping from your favorite game to your favorite show is seamless, and controlling it is as intuitive as playing a game. You don’t need a PS4 console to enjoy this service, though. You can also use a Roku, Amazon Fire devices, and Kodi. Plus. Get access to awesome channels like AMC, BBC America, and Bravo in PlayStation Vue’s entry-level package. One subscription works with up to five devices, all with unlimited cloud DVR storage making it one of the most binge-friendly solutions. (Here are all of PlayStation Vue channels.)
3) YouTube TV
- Cost: $49.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS, and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
YouTube TV is a great solution for families because one subscription can add up to six accounts. Each account comes with unlimited cloud DVR. There are sports channels like NBCSN, NBA TV, and four ESPN channels. Disney, Disney XD, Disney Junior, and Cartoon Network will keep any kid (or kid at heart) busy for hours. It also comes with a few Spanish-language channels like Telemundo and NBC Universo. AMC, BBC America, and IFC are there too, so you won’t miss out on all that prestige TV. (You can find the full list of YouTube TV channels here.)
4) DirecTV Now
- Cost: $40-$75 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- DirecTV Now devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire Stick
- Local channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check local availability)
Cable giant DirecTV offers its own online streaming solution with DirecTV Now. For those who need a pile of channels, DirecTV Now offers upwards of 125 channels in its most expensive package, in case you want to relive the days of endless surfing. However, its basic Live a Little Plan will cover most of your live-streaming needs, including getting you access to ABC where you can stream the American Idol. (You can find the full list of DirecTV Now channels here.)
Where to watch American Idol episodes
If you missed out on the return last year, you can relive the magic along with episodes from season 2 on the ABC website. You will need a login from a cable provider or any of the live TV streaming services above to watch.
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Jaime Carillo is a writer for Pure Nintendo and a plucky YouTube cook. He specializes in writing about console gaming and kitchen gadgets. It comes naturally, considering he's either wielding a massive cleaver or Switch Pro controller at any given point. When he's not cruising through a drive-thru at 2am, he's baking shokupan or whipping up a big pot of Japanese curry. He enjoys retro gaming, geopolitics, and Vic Berger videos.