Longtime American Idol producer, Nigel Lythgoe, will be returning to the show he once shepherded, to help executive produce the finale. In the wake of the big news, he sat for an interview with Yahoo News. Check out a few soundbites right here:
Nigel Lythgoe is NOT on board for the fifteenth and final season of Idol being all nostalgia all the time:
“I wouldn’t really want to just be looking back. I think that’s up to other people. That was my past, and there are other people who can look at that stuff and put it all together. I’d like to be involved in saying, ‘This is how good the show is, and what a shame to lose it now.’
“The finale has the possibility to pull between two angles, which is crowning the winner and giving enough credibility to this television program that made such an impact on America. I find it rather sad that [both angles are] hooked together. It would be nice to have a [separate] ‘Farewell American Idol’ show, where all of the stars who have been on in the past have a moment to say what was good about it.”
Nigel executive produced Idol Seasons 1-7 and 10-12. It’s his baby, and understandably, he has mixed emotions about the iconic show going off of the air.
“I’m 50/50 now. I was happy when I first heard [that Idol was going off the air]. I thought, you know, it needs resting. And it’s far better to let it rest than ruin a legacy of probably the greatest entertainment show in the history of American television. It really was, for a number of years, the ratings ‘death star.’ Ridiculous figures, really. You can’t understate the impact it had on life in America, and on so many areas of music. The impact and the footprint that American Idol had, I think it was the best entertainment show ever – though I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with that.
“But losing that legacy and watching it sort of depleting in value, I’m happy that they’re resting it. At the same time, I look at it and think, nowadays, in comparisons to what else is on the box, the figures still stand up pretty damn well.”
Could Idol have been saved? Any drastic change to the format would have lost the show’s essence:
“Maybe it could’ve been cut down in hours; maybe it could’ve been shortened, I’ve always thought that two hours was a long time to donate to a television program. Could it have been restructured? Maybe. But the essence of it – going out to find talent, and the talent being our focus – that got lost a few years ago. And I think that’s what needs to be regained.”
As far as the fate of So You Think You Can Dance, the summer dance competition show he currently produces, Nigel is currently in negotiations to renew it for another season. “…I might be talking again in the future about what Fox wants to do with it next year. We’re in heavy, heavy discussions about it right now.”
Read more of Nigel’s thoughts, including favorite moments, and his impressions of Kelly Clarkson at Reality Rocks.