American Idol was only mentioned briefly during the FOX executive session at today’s Television Critics Association press tour. The network isn’t going to spend time discussing a show that’s in its fifteenth and final season, even if that show, once the crown jewel of the network, helped build the FOX legacy.
Fox TV Group chairman-CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden did promise that the final outing for the once mighty competition reality show is being viewed “as the farewell tour of a performing act.” According to Walden. There will be plenty of celebratory moments, including the return of the stars Idol helped create. However, Walden added, “producers feel very committed to finding the 15th Idol and not letting the search for that (winner) be lost in the celebratory elements of the show.”
The original judges, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul weren’t namechecked during the panel, but The Hollywood Reporter says it’s likely all three will make appearances during the final season.
On the quick demise of the Ryan Seacrest-hosted Knock Knock Live after only 2 dismally-rated episodes, Walden praised the summer series as “original,” and a “big idea,” but felt that summer wasn’t the best time to launch a show at a time that FOX lacks circulation. If Walden had a do-over, she’d schedule it in-season when opportunities for promotion were stronger. (The creatively challenged show still would have failed. A mess is still a mess no matter when it’s launched.)
Because of the live nature of the wish fulfillment show, Walden said, “It was very hard to explain to an audience what the show could be.” Later in the panel, Newman added, “It was just missing a little bit of that Fox DNA, [and] it just didn’t feel distinctive enough for our air.”
The decision to pull the Simon Fuller created series was made mutually with producer, Ryan Seacrest.