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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. • Fox will launch a new singing competition, "The Four," based on an Israeli format that skips auditions and begins with the final four in place.

"American Idol," once the dominant show in network television, moves to ABC in the coming season, after ending its Fox run in April 2016. 

When producer Freemantle began thinking about rebooting "Idol," Fox reportedly passed, finding it too expensive. The new "Idol" then landed at ABC, which hired Katy Perry as a judge for $25 million for the first season.

Asked whether Fox had made a mistake by passing or ABC had made a mistake by diving in, Fox's Dana Walden quickly said, "ABC," before amending, "I'm kidding."

Walden said she had thought reviving the show so soon after the hoopla of its finale would have felt fraudulent.

In the complicated rules for "The Four," challengers (who can include viewers) will take on the finalists each week, before the last remaining four compete against one another. Judge-mentors will become mentors for the winner's career.

Gail Pennington is attending the TV Critics Association summer press tour. Follow her on Twitter (@gailpennington), Facebook (@tubetalkPD) and here at

Gail Pennington is the television critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.