American Idol will end after its 15th season, Fox announced during a schedule announcement on Monday (May 11). The show’s final season will premiere January 2016.
The 2015-2016 season will once again see host Ryan Seacrest, along with judges Keith Urban, Harry Connick, Jr., and Jennifer Lopez, on board for the show’s final run.
Fox Networks Group co-chief Gary Newman stated that the decision to cancel the show was not an easy one, but “we all felt collectively it was time to bring American Idol to an end.” He says the final, 15th run “will be a true season-long celebration,” and producers are looking for “surprises we can have for fans” that will make the farewell as “significant as the run it had on our network.”
Once a ratings juggernaut, American Idol‘s ratings have been in decline for the past several seasons. The show’s 11th season in 2012 opened to 21.6 million viewers, a 17 percent drop from 2011. The 2013 season (season 12) premiered to 17.9 million viewers, down 19 percent from 2012. The 2014 season (season 13) premiere of Idol also saw a decline in viewers between ages 18-49, drawing 15.2 million viewers. Idol‘s season 14 premiere this year brought in 11.2 million viewers.
At its peak in 2007, Idol opened to 37.4 million viewers.
Idol, created by Simon Fuller, began airing stateside in 2002, and became a ratings juggernaut for several seasons, thanks in part to the razor-sharp wit of Simon Cowell, who was an American Idol judge for the show from 2002-2010.
American Idol has produced several notable artists including Kelly Clarkson (season 1 winner), Carrie Underwood (season 4 winner), and Scotty McCreery (season 10 winner), and Academy award-winner Jennifer Hudson (season 3 finalist).
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