It’s been a season of bickering and drama on American Idol. Unfortunately, that still didn’t help boost the ratings for the once popular talent show. According to the New York Post, every judge on the show has been fired:
None of the four judges on the singing competition will be asked to return next season, an individual with knowledge of Fox’s plans told The Wrap. Longtime producer Nigel Lythgoe is expected to get the boot. And despite reports to the contrary, Fox isn’t even considering bringing former judge Jennifer Lopez back as a lifesaver for next season.
“All four are gone,” the insider told TheWrap. “They feel they’ve lost their core audience and they want it back.”
Driven by this belief and the need to attract younger viewers, Fox is set to make major on-air changes to “Idol,” the most notable of which will be an entirely new judging panel. New judges pop icon Mariah Carey, rapper Nicki Minaj and country star Keith Urban won’t be back. Even original judge Randy Jackson won’t survive the blood bath this time around.
All four judges have options to return for another season, but Fox won’t be picking them up, according to the knowledgeable individual, who said: “No more big checks for divas.”
Fox’s meltdown has everything to do with the talent competition’s declining viewership. Its ratings are already down 22 percent this season and it hit a series low for ratings last Thursday, when it attracted only 11 million viewers and a 2.4 rating/7 share in the ad-coveted 18-49 demographic. The ratings slide is especially problematic during May Sweeps, where ratings numbers are used to dictate advertising rates.
The network has resolved to stop paying the huge salaries it has been shoveling out for its big name talent, i.e. Carey’s reported $18 million package, Minaj’s $12 million salary and former judge Jennifer Lopez’s $15 million.
The show’s format will also change. Its look will be redesigned and the dated tribute nights will be a thing of the past. But the show’s trademark audition episodes will continue.
It’s amazing how Ryan Seacrest is the last man standing. Apparently he’s a magically unicorn, or something.