Nigel Lythgoe – Fox’s Latest “American Idol” Casualty


Fox is making drastic changes in an attempt to resuscitate American Idol.  The latest casualty in their extreme makeover of the show is the firing of Nigel Lythgoe.

“Just had 10 days in the Bahamas, rain everyday. I get back to the States and get fired. Sad!,” Lythgoe tweeted Saturday morning.

There are rumors that he and the show’s creator, Simon Fuller, were not getting alone, but Fox denied there was discourse amongst them.

Lythgoe a veteran of the show, is also an esteemed British Dancer.  He earned the name nasty Lythgoe when he appeared as a judge on “Pop Stars” another show created by Simon Fuller.  In 2002, he moved to the U.S. to help with the production of “American Idol.”  It became one of the greatest shows in the U.S during season five, its peak season.  It averaged 30.6 million viewers.

He took a leave of absence in seasons eight and nine to focus on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and was brought back in season 10 when the show’s ratings dropped drastically.  It appears he was not able to bring the rating numbers up.  A change in judges did not help and the last season certainly took another drastic dip with only 13.5 million viewers.

Lythgoe is not the only producer leaving, his production partner and former classmate, Ken Warren is also leaving. While Lythgoe is leaving “American Idol” he is not too blue about it because he still has his first love “So You Think You Can Dance.”

While “Idol” may never reach the peak it experienced in season five, sentiments are mixed as to whether the recent removal of judges and producers will be able to bring it back to life again.

“It will return for at least a couple more seasons. Will ever be as big as it was? Honestly, no, I do not think so. ‘Idol’ no longer operates in a bubble. It operates in a saturated market, competing with ‘The Voice’ and many other shows, and even with a show on the same network, Simon Cowell’s ‘X Factor,’ in a way,” said Lyndsey Parker, Yahoo! Music Managing Editor and Reality Rocks blogger.

“When dealing with this sort of political environment and ego that go hand in hand with a show like this, clearing the slate and starting fresh is the only rational option,” said Jed Smith, founder of Beta Fish Music.

Smith added a new panel of judges could “restore interest” in the competition series, something this year’s panel of judges failed to do.

Season 13 of “American Idol” will bring an extreme makeover to the show, with new judges and producers. The veteran team that Lythgoe was a part of is gone.  Hopefully the new team will be able to increase the viewers and keep the show alive.

By Veverly Edwards

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