TORONTO - "Canadian Idol" host Ben Mulroney says he doesn't know if the show will return for a seventh season - but if it does, he thinks producers should consider some drastic changes.
"If it were up to me, I would really blow up the model," Mulroney said Tuesday in an interview.
"I would take this opportunity that it's taken some time off . . . (and) I would think boldly on it. I would do 'Canadian Idol 2.0.' "
"Canadian Idol" has run for six seasons on CTV. The network announced in December that the show would be "suspended," and the seventh season would not air in 2009 as expected.
Though Mulroney notes he's not a producer of "Idol" - "I'm just a really well-placed fan," says the 33-year-old - he wouldn't be opposed to any change that would freshen up the show.
And that includes sacrificing his own job.
"While I would love to work with my judge colleagues and friends - they're all my friends - for the health of the show, it might be interesting to get a new panel," he said. "Or do (the show) out of Vancouver.
"Get a new judge, get a new host - I'd do it again, but if you really were thinking 'let's try something different' . . . prove it to the cynics that the show is still relevant. I think it always was.
"That would be my instinct. Think big, think bold, and really change it up."
However, Mulroney says he hasn't heard anything either way about the show's possible return.
"The health of network television is sort of in flux right now," he says. "So I really don't know what's going to happen, and our show is an expensive one to produce."
Mulroney says "Canadian Idol" - always a reliable ratings success - was prohibitively pricey for CTV because it needed to match the slick production values of its American counterpart.
But there's no doubt in his mind that it should ultimately come back.
"There's no other show on television that celebrates - for an entire summer - people who come from this small town in Newfoundland, or that small town in Alberta, and showcases the talent," he said.
"Look, it's not for everybody. It never was designed for everybody. But it is designed for the masses and it got huge numbers.
"And that reason alone means that if there's a way to bring it back, it will be brought back."