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American Idol Producers To Completely Change Judges Panel Next Season

May 9, 2013 | Posted by Joseph Lee

The Wrap reports none of the four judges working on American Idol this season (Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson) are expected to come back, nor will producer Nigel Lythgoe. Fox isn’t even planning to bring Jennifer Lopez back, as rumors have indicated.

A source said: “All four are gone. They feel they’ve lost their core audience and they want it back.

FOX is set to make major changes to the on-air product, including new judges. A Fox spokesperson would not comment. All four judges have options to return but FOX won’t pick them up. A source added that there will be “no more big checks for divas.” The network plans on not paying any more salaries for big name talent, similar to Carey’s $18 million, Minaj’s $12 million and Jennifer Lopez’s $15 million salaries.

The format of the show will change, as the look will get a redesign and the tribute nights will not happen anymore. The audition episodes will continue. Fox Broadcasting chairman Kevin Reilly is the one in charge of “fixing Idol”. The changes include the exit of Lythgoe, but it’s unknown what this means for FremantleMedia.

The changes have to do with the dropping viewers, which are already down 22% this season. It hit a series low for ratings last Thursday, with only 11 million viewers and a 2.4 rating/7 share in the demographic. This also hurts the Network during May Sweeps, where ratings numbers set advertising rates. Viewing has been dropping for several seasons. At its highest point during season six, it brought in 30 million viewers an episode.

The show still brings in $836.4 million in ad revenue, according to Kantar Media. Meanwhile, The X Factor can’t replace it and two of the judges (Britney Spears and L.A. Reid) will not come back for season three. Idol is also hurt by the success of NBC’s The Voice, which is in its fourth season. It recently beat Idol and every other show in both total viewers and the demographic. It then replaced Idol in the nominees for the Outstanding Reality Competition category.

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Joseph Lee

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