Longtime “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is parting ways with the flailing reality series after eleven years.
Lythgoe took to Twitter on Saturday to confirm earlier reports of his imminent departure, stating: “just had 10 days in the Bahamas, rain everyday. I get back to the States and get fired. Sad! Monday we choose our top 20. I’ll smile again.” Nevertheless, Lythgoe made sure to ease fears of a similar exit from “So You Think You Can Dance,” tweeting later: “Yes, don’t worry I’m on #SYTYCD. FOX still loves me. It’s not a personal thing they just feel IDOL needs new leadership after 12 Seasons.”
FOX later confirmed Lythgoe’s confirmation by releasing a statement also announcing the exit of Lythgoe’s fellow “Idol” producer Ken Warwick.
“The passion and dedication that Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick brought to ‘American Idol’ guided the show to become a true cultural phenomenon,” the statement read in part. “While we are saddened they will no longer be executive producers on the show, we are grateful for their tremendous contributions and look forward to continuing to work with them on additional projects.”
The announcement of the duo’s exit follows the earlier departures of almost the entire “Idol” judges panel (Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey) and Fox Alternative Entertainment president Mike Darnell. There has been no word yet whether host Ryan Seacrest and remaining judge Keith Urban will be staying on with the series for its thirteenth season.
Do you think it was time for Lythgoe and Warwick to move on from “American Idol”? Sound off in the comments.