According to a report published by The Hollywood Reporter, a source at “Idol” claims that the two veteran producers “will be leaving the show” but that formal decisions and discussions have not yet happened.
Lythgoe and Warwick are longtime friends and have served as producers on “American Idol” since its debut in 2002. Their exit this summer is just one of many — three of the four Season 12 judges (Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj) have formally exited, as has FOX chief of alternative programming Mike Darnell.
Who actually will come back at this point? Since there have been no rumors to the contrary, “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest is likely to continue on. Season 12 judge Keith Urban has indicated that he would like to return, but FOX and “American Idol” have not made any sort of commitment to the country singer. Word from the show is that Season 3 singer Jennifer Hudson will serve as a judge in the upcoming season, but that deal isn’t finalized either.
All of the changes are the result of record-low ratings for “American Idol,” which saw double-digit drops from the previous year. The thinking seems to be that a completely overhauled show can save what was once TV’s biggest program.