American Idol Drama: Executive Producers Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick Are Out
Adding to the overhaul going on over atAmerican Idol, news surfaces that executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick "will be leaving the show," a source told The Hollywood Reporter. Formal exit discussions have not yet begun, however.
As Idol has become a Titanic of sorts in the ratings, this was expected to happen. The season 12 finale was down more than 40 percent compared to Idol's finale in 2011.
Meetings are the usual over at the Idol camp, with everyone trying to figure out exactly what to do about next season. Coming off of “a difficult season,” as one well-placed show insider calls its most recent run, led to drastic measures like the exiting of most of the judging panel, with Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj leaving on the same day and longtime judge Randy Jackson announcing his departure during the season. Another source told The Hollywood Reporter that Keith Urban’s fate has still not been determined.
Both Nigel and Ken have been with Idol since it began in 2002 and also worked on its predecessor, Britain's Pop Idol. Lythgoe took a two-year break during seasons eight and nine but continued to produce other shows like the popular So You Think You Can Dance.
Neither Nigel or Ken are employed by Fox, and will, in all likelihood, continue to work with the network on future programs.
With season-three finalist Jennifer Hudsonstill "close to a deal," talk of an all-Idol alumni panel for next year has stalled somewhat. One report estimates her salary to be around $4.5 million, but another Idol insider tells The Hollywood Reporter that producers are looking to pay closer to the $1 million mark, which may explain the slow process.
Much of Season 13 is still entirely unknown, but one thing seems certain: People are hoping for drastic changes and a return to the American Idol fans fell in love with long, long ago.