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Well, Fox just made an earth-shattering move. The network announced today that American Idol will be ending its run, although not immediately. Currently, the veteran singing competition series is airing Season 14, and the network has plans to air Season 15, sending the show off right. Thus, American Idol’s 15th and final season will hit the schedule in January of 2016.
Fox executive Dana Walden called the decision to end the series “emotional,” noting that the network is working right now not only to finish the season, but to put together a satisfying and interesting conclusion series for the beloved singing competition series. In terms of judges, Idol will be sticking with Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban for Season 15, as well. In a conference call, the network also noted that the channel was already looking to fill the episodes with former cast members who might be interested in coming back. Here's what Dana Walden said...
I will tell you though having spent time very recently with former Idol judges, there is a lot of enthusiasm about coming back and paying tribute to a show that launched many many successful careers. I think there is going to be a lot of enthusiasm around former judges and contestants being a part of the show.
American Idol’s importance in American culture can’t be understated. Winners and even popular losers on the competition series have gone on to have long and storied careers. Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson is still a big name in music. Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, and Adam Lambert are all household names, as well. Over the years, the show has produced many fan favorite contestants as well, and it would be interesting if American Idol could find clever ways to bring people back on the series—which by the looks of things, is the basic plan.
Basically, it seems as if the network wants the series to go out with a bang, rather than a whimper. American Idol premiered all the way back in 2002, and was a ratings juggernaut for the network for years, absolutely dominating the network landscapes. However, the show has been dropping in viewers for years now. All of the big names, in terms of initial judges, are gone now, and Idol has faced budget cuts and the loss of its Coca-Cola sponsorship. It could fade away quietly into the night a few years from now or Fox could give the series a nice sendoff. It’s nice to see the network is looking at the latter. We’ll let you know when more news related to American Idol’s final hurrah begins to break.