Fox has confirmed that popular talent show “American Idol” will end following the conclusion of Season 15, which is scheduled on January, 2016.
The network has announced that host Ryan Seacrest and judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. will all be back for the “season-long celebratory event”.
“We’re already talking about surprises we can have for the fans to make it feel special and send it off [in a way] that makes it as significant as the run it’s had on our network.”
Seacrest weighed in on the final season, commenting, “All the ‘American Idol’ producers, judges, crew and everyone at Fox have been heroic in their efforts to create, produce and sustain such a groundbreaking show for so many years. I’m so glad they’re going to give us a season-long send off. The last season will undoubtedly be a special and emotional one, but first I’m looking forward to closing out Season 14. The finale is always my favorite part — two live shows with lots of surprises, and, of course, one winner!”
Fox TV Group chairman-CEO Gary Newman said it was “not an easy decision” to call it a wrap for “Idol” after much discussion with producers.
“It’s the right time to bring this run to a close,” Newman said in a conference call Tuesday. “We really wanted to do it in a way that felt special and celebratory … and send it off in a way that is as significant as the run it’s had on our network.”
The show will go on air on Wednesday and Thursday at first and then consolidate to one performance and results show on Thursday.
“American Idol,” created by Simon Fuller, debuted thirteen years ago with original cast of judges including Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.
Throughout its 14 seasons, other A-list judges have included Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Steven Tyler, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres. It ranked as the No. 1 series on broadcast TV for eight of its 15 seasons.
The popular competition made a star of Seacrest, who has served as emcee since season one, when he shared hosting duties with Brian Dunkleman, who exited after the first round.
“‘American Idol’ has been a big part of my life for so long, it’s frankly hard to imagine it without it,” Seacrest said in a statement. “It’s been a remarkable journey, and I feel very fortunate to have been part of a show that made television history in countless ways. It’s a show about chasing and fulfilling dreams, and truth be told, it helped some of my own dreams come true too.”
Newman and fellow Fox TV Group chair Dana Walden revealed to reporters that they are considering the possibility to invite former judges, including Cowell, and are also thinking over performers returning for the final season. Walden said the goal was to deliver some “nostalgia” for fans.