The Los Angeles Times is reporting that American Idol producer, Nigel Lythgoe, has yet to sign a new deal to stay with the show, and that Idol creator, Simon Fuller may have a reduced role with the show next year as well.
Nigel, Simon and Ken Warwick could all be on the way out. Core Media Group, the company which now owns American Idol, and FOX, the network that airs it, are prepared to make MAJOR changes to save their sinking franchise. Idol lost 23% of it’s viewership last year. American Idol has always been the cornerstone of the FOX network’s rating dominance and has brought in billions of dollars in revenue.
I just hope in the mad scramble to save the golden goose TPTB don’t kill it with too many changes. Yes, with The Voice and X Factor able to tout superstar judges, Idol has no choice but to follow suit. Otherwise, they seem too irrelevant to attract major talent. But they’ve GOT to hang on to the aspects that made the show popular in the first place. Keeping the focus on the TALENT is #1. If Idol returns unrecognizable, or a carbon copy of other shows, viewers may be alienated even further.
For instance. I think it’s a good idea to bring in new producers with a fresh perspective coughbyekencough but I would not ditch Nigel Lythgoe. He steered the Idol ship to #1 in the first place. He wasn’t at the helm for Season 8 and Season 9, and both seasons suffered as a result. SAVE THE NIGEL! His stone cold silence since the stories began to break on Thursday has me thinking the worst.
Like The Wrap, the LA Times is also reporting that Idol decided not to pick up Steven Tyler’s option and had some interest in Jennifer Lopez, but not at a higher price tag.
The New York Post, however, is reporting a completely different story, that Fox was ready to re-sign both Jennifer and Steven. The network believed Jennifer’s dithering was merely a negotiation ploy. When both judges quit within 18 hours of each other, the network had to begin scrambling.
Whatever report is true, I think we need to stay tuned for some MAJOR changes to Idol. I just hope the show I love doesn’t turn into a total stranger.