“American Idol” is about to sing its swan song.
Fox is cancelling the long-running singing competition after its upcoming 15th season.
“It was not an easy decision. ‘American Idol’ has been such a vital part of Fox for its run. We spent a lot of time talking to producers about the future of ‘American Idol’ and collectively we all arrived at the conclusion that it was time to bring the show to an end,” Fox’s co-chairmen and co-CEO, Gary Newman, said on a press call Monday morning.
“Idol” will return in January for its 15th and final season. Host Ryan Seacrest and judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. will return for the final season, which the network promises will be a suitable sendoff for the formerly groundbreaking competition.
“We really wanted to do it in a way that felt special and celebratory and treated the show the way it deserved to be treated. Next year is going to be a true season-long celebration,” Newman said. “We’re already talking about surprises we can have for the fans to make it feel special and to send it off in a way that’s significant as the run it’s had on our network.”
What kinds of surprises? Fox is still in discussions, but co-chairmen and co-CEO Dana Walden said that already former show judges have expressed interest in making appearances during the final season. First season host Brian Dunkleman was suggested by a reporter on the call. To which Walden responded, “Yes! Where’s Brian nowadays?”
The decision arrives after several years of dwindling ratings. The audience for the current season alone has shrunk from 11.2 million people for the premiere to just 6.9 for last Wednesday’s show, according to Nielsen.
Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson are among the show’s most successful alums.
Although Fox is ending “Idol” and previously canceled Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” after just three seasons, Fox is currently developing its reality slate under new vice president of alternative entertainment, Corie Henson. Newman said that he would never say the network is out of the singing competition business.
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