Fox is bringing back the entire American Idol judging panel for season 14. Despite hitting record-low ratings this year, Idol will continue in 2015 with Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr., along with host Ryan Seacrest. It’s the first time since season 11 that the judges have remained the same for consecutive seasons.
“Jennifer, Keith, Harry, and Ryan are the very best in the business at what they do, and I’m thrilled that they are returning to American Idol for another season,” said David Hill, senior executive vice president of 21st Century Fox. “Each brings unique qualities and expertise to the team, but they all share the same passion for helping undiscovered singers achieve the American dream.”
While it might seem counterintuitive to keep the same panel given the show’s latest ratings plummet (Idol fell 28 percent among adults 18-49 last season), the industry consensus seems to be that Idol ratings drops are more due to the show’s aging format and heavy competition from shows such as NBC’s The Voice rather than the makeup of the panel. Plus, it’s very tricky to come up with an effective combination of talent to sit behind the desk (remember Nicki Minaj?). Since critics and fans were largely pleased with the season 13 panel, the thought is: Why fix what isn’t too broken (and might just get worse anyway?).