Rumors about an “American Idol” revamp is coming true, this time with the firing of top executives and long-time producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick, as the struggling show finds new ways to boost its downhill ratings, says an exclusive report from TheWrap.
Fox declined to comment about the reports, however.
TheWrap was the first to report back in early May that there would be a major ‘Idol’ makeover for the shows season, including the firing of the execs and the whole judging panel. Since rumors about the revamp started, judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj have already made announcements about their leaving the show. No word yet on Keith Urban.
The terminations from ‘Idol’ follows Mike Darnell’s sudden exit during the Memorial Day weekend. Darnell was the show’s alternative programming chief. The show is doing these changes in a continuing bid to win back viewers and to bring in something new.
Together, Lythgoe and Warwick launched ‘Idol’ back in 2002 and also worked on its predecessor, Britain’s “Pop Idol.” Lythgoe briefly left ‘Idol’ in 2008, returning in 2010.
Contestants Turned Judges
Rumors are going around that the new judging panel may include ‘Idol’ alums, including Jennifer Hudson and season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson.
Sources tell TheWrap, however, that that plan could be on hold until they can find a replacement for Darnell.
“We can’t make any moves on ‘Idol’ without someone in there,” says the source, who is a senior executive with knowledge of the production.