We want American Idol to go on forever and with big advertisers like Coca-Cola and Ford still dishing out advertising money despite falling ratings, we hoped our dream might come true. But a new report has us doubting Idol’s future.

According to TMZ, for the first time in the show’s 12-year history, Idol will lose money this season. That’s all the more disconcerting when considering the billions of dollars in profits the show has made in seasons past.

There isn’t just one reason for the supposed loss, says TMZ. Of course, the biggest nugget goes to the judges. As we reported, Jennifer Lopez makes a whopping $15 million, and host Ryan Seacrest is rumored to get about the same. Although Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban both make considerably less at roughly $5 million a piece, that’s still no small amount of dough.

The new set reportedly cost between $5 and $7 million  no small chunk of change. To boot, ousted producers Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe are also still getting paid despite being fired last season. Compounding this staggering loss, the show’s ratings are down, hitting a new low last week.

Doing the math, it seems like the show’s days are numbered but that’s not so, according to TMZ. Not only does Fox have a lot invested in Idol but, after cancelling The X Factor earlier this year, the network would have a gaping hole in its primetime schedule. Conclusion: Idol will likely return but, as network president Chase Carey has noted, it be “winding down.” In other words, it won’t be the giant spectacle that we have come to know.

What do you think? Should Idol continue after this season? Sound off in the comments!

Source: TMZ