After thirteen years and fifteen seasons, Fox’s American Idol has been cancelled. The singing competition, which helped celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, and Jordon Sparks rise to fame, has been experiencing a drop in ratings since 2012. The show, which debuted in the summer of 2002 and was originally titled Pop Idol, was brought over to the American audience after tv producer Nigel Lythgoe saw the Australian version of the hit. After Lythgoe helped bring it to Britain, the show’s creator, Simon Fuller, producer Simon Jones, and Simon Cowell sold the idea to Fox’s Rupert Murdoch, whose daughter convinced Murdoch to give the show a go. After two years of running, the series became the most watched show in the U.S for eight consecutive years, with Ryan Seacrest hosting the show from season one to its final season, despite the numerous revolving judges the show employed. While American Idol managed to stay on top for several years, the show’s decline in ratings eventually led Coca-Cola to discontinue their sponsorship, despite having spawned several competition-based shows from Dancing with the Stars to The X Factor.
As soon as news of the show’s cancellation was announced, alumni from the last thirteen years voiced their praise of the show that brought viewer voting to America. Seacrest used Twitter to confirm the show’s cancellation, saying “this show’s been a big part of my life for so long… hard to imagine it w/out it.” Simon Cowell, who expressed gratitude towards Fox said “Fox took a risk on a brand new show and I want to thank them for giving us the opportunity. They really were great times.” Former judge Randy Jackson tweeted “One of the greatest talent shows ever. Gave us all huge careers and birthed soooo many stars of today.” Jordon Sparks, who won season six of the show called the ending bittersweet; saying “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if it hadn’t been for that show.”
While the show’s upcoming season will be its last, Fox’s co-chair Gary Newman insists that it’s going to be a season-long celebration. “We’re already talking about surprises we can have for the fans to make it feel special.” As for the show’s final round of judges, Harry Connick, Jr, Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban will be returning.
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