Last month, Dustin posed the question of just how much longer American Idol can stay on the air, after a particularly low-rated episode that was beat out by even a rerun of Modern Family. The answer, which he predicted, is one season… as Fox has announced just ahead of this week’s 14th season finale that the 2015-16 season will be the reality singing competition’s last.
According to HitFix, the 15th and final season of American Idol will pay tribute to the past 14 seasons and “search for the final Idol superstar.” Current judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. are all slated to return along with host Ryan Seacrest and likely many guest appearances from former Idol winners and contestants.
After Paula Abdul left following Season 8 (the same season Kara DioGuardi was added as a fourth judge), American Idol has seen a rotating table of judges including Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Tyler, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Jennifer Lopez, who left and came back to join Urban and Connick for the past two seasons. Aside from 15 seasons being a long time for a reality series to keep up steam, it could probably be argued that no panel of judges has ever managed to replace the original chemistry of Simon Cowell, the perpetually medicated Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson.