UPDATE: Veteran American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe tweeted the news of his dismissal today. He’s departing Fox’s long-running competition show, heading into its 13th season, but will stay aboard the network’s dance program So You Think You Can Dance, which he co-created, exec produces and serves as judge on. ” Just had 10 days in the Bahamas, rain everyday,” he Tweeted. ” I get back to the States and get fired. Sad! Monday we choose our top 20. I’ll smile again… Yes, don’t worry I’m on #SYTYCD. FOX still loves me. It’s not a personal thing they just feel IDOL needs new leadership after 12 Seasons.“
In response, Fox released a statement addressing both Lythgoe and fellow long-time Idol executive producer Ken Warwick’s exits. “The passion and dedication that Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick brought to American Idol guided the show to become a true cultural phenomenon. While we are saddened they will no longer be executive producers on the show, we are grateful for their tremendous contributions and look forward to continuing to work with them on additional projects.”
The departures come just a couple of days Fox brought in veteran News Corp. executives David Hill to oversee Idol and The X Factor.