1st photo of new 'American Idol' judges is getting us excited

/ Source: TODAY

"American Idol" has released its first picture of the beloved singing competition show's new panel of judges (and very familiar host), and everybody seems to be all smiles!

Say "hello" to (from left) Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest (a welcome returning face) and Luke Bryan.

Richie, Perry and Bryan will all be sitting down as judges, while Seacrest will return to his hosting duties.

And he's already begun, tweeting from auditions on Tuesday:

That means we're starting to get pretty revved up for the show's return! As you may remember, the original version ran on Fox from 2002 to 2016 and spawned such superstars as Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. The new version will begin airing on ABC in 2018.

Yeah, that does seem like a long time to wait. But we have no doubt our judges and Seacrest will keep us apprised along the way. After all, at some point we're just waiting for him to say once again: "This ... is ... 'American Idol!'"

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