This morning, Nigel Lythgoe confirmed what had been rumored for weeks–that FOX has fired him as Executive Producer of American Idol.
I think we can safely assume that Ken Warwick is gone also.
I get the issues with Nigel. His themes were tired and the music available to contestants was old and stale. The casting this year–splitting the girls from the boys for weeks in the middle rounds and casting charisma-free boys in order to game the contest in favor of the girls–was a disaster. But there was plenty of blame to go around, and I get the feeling that FOX meddled in the decision making more than usual as the ratings faltered in the past couple of years.
But the biggest problem with Idol at this point is that it’s an old show. No matter what FOX or the new producers do at this point will make much of a difference. They may stave off huge, embarrassing declines like they suffered this year, but the Glory Years of Idol are over.
Nigel brought us the show we came to know and love, and that topped the TV ratings for nine straight years. It’s a remarkable accomplishment if you think about it. I only hope the changes that are inevitably made improve the show, rather than turn it into something unrecognizable.
FOX Has released a statement confirming the firing of both Nigel and Ken Warwick
“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.”