Rumors of Nigel Lythgoe’s imminent departure from American Idol were realized yesterday when the high-profile producer tweeted the news that he’d been fired from Fox’s flagship music-reality competition. “It’s not a personal thing,” added Lythgoe, who will remain with So You Think You Can Dance. “They just feel Idol needs new leadership after 12 seasons.
Fox confirmed Lythgoe’s exit, as well as the departure of long-time Idol executive producer Ken Warwick, with a statement: “The passion and dedication that Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick brought to American Idol guided the show to become a true cultural phenomenon. While we are saddened they will no longer be executive producers on the show, we are grateful for their tremendous contributions and look forward to continuing to work with them on additional projects.”
American Idol, which saw its ratings crater, is undergoing what appears to be a complete overhaul after its 12th season. Judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj will not return next season, and Fox’s legendary reality guru, Mike Darnell, also recently parted ways.