The biggest TV entertainment series of the 21st century will end next year, just as we initially suspected that it would.
“American Idol XV” will have the same judges as the last 2 cycles – Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. – along with the show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, who has been with the series from the beginning.
Idol was once dubbed FOX’s “Death Star”, a series so popular it decimated any rival that dared to air at the same time. At the musical competition’s ratings peak in 2006, Idol drew more than an incredible 36 million viewers for its season finale. It’s a performance that was all the more impressive given that FOX packed as many as 41 episodes of Idol onto its schedule during the show’s relatively brief midseason runs – and many of those episodes were 2 hours long.
Yet ratings have fallen nearly every season since Idol’s peak.
This year, Idol delivered a series-low 11.6 million viewers, and that’s including DVR playback. While Idol is pulling a higher average than some surviving shows, producing Idol isn’t cheap – there’s famous singers judging the talent, a multi-city audition tour, and live shows to produce.
As to why it was cancelled, according to EW, FOX chairmen CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden fielded several questions about their decision and the show’s final season. Gary Newman said:
You know, it was not an easy decision. “American Idol” has been such a vital part of FOX for its run, and we spent a lot of time talking with producers about the future of “American Idol” and collectively we arrived at the conclusion that it was time to bring the show to an end. But we wanted to do it in a way that felt special and celebratory and treated the show the way it deserved to be treated.
Dana Walden agreed it was a “pretty emotional decision,” and revealed the final season will feature appearances by former judges and contestants. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm around former judges and contestants coming back,” she said.
Aww. Are you bummed that “American Idol” was cancelled or are you secretly pleased that it has finally come to an end? What would you have done differently for “American Idol” if it was within your power to do so? Feel free to discuss that in the comments box below.