UPDATE: 7:20 AM: “CeeLo Green has been an instrumental part of the success of The Voice and we deeply appreciate all his contributions,” NBC reality TV chief Paul Telegdy said in a statement about Green’s announcement today that he’s leaving the network’s hit singing competition series. “We’re looking forward to working with him on other upcoming projects that will tap into both his musical and entertainment expertise.”
Green also issued a statement: “I’m officially announcing today that I won’t be returning as a coach on The Voice cycle 7 in the Fall. There are numerous reasons that led to this decision, which has been amicably reached with NBC, but I’m excited to be developing several other ideas with the network and my association with NBC remains strong. The Voice has been an immensely enjoyable experience for me and I can only hope I have enriched the lives of our viewers, the contestants, and the many friends I made there. I will always be there in spirit.
“Meanwhile, NBC and I plan to continue our relationship with several new co-ventures including a new music show, while we also explore our ideas for me to create and host a new show of my own. I will not go quietly into the night… expect more great music and entertainment done in my own unique unmistakable and undeniable way. And The Voice has given me all the altitude and incentive to do just that. Thanks for the memories and make way for many more!”
PREVIOUS, 5:30 AM: “I’m not coming back at all,” CeeLo Green told a surprised Ellen DeGeneres in re NBC’s hit singing competition The Voice during an interview for today’s edition of her syndicated talk show. DeGeneres was interviewing Lionel Richie about his upcoming tour; Richie then introduced Green, who is joining him on the tour. DeGeneres asked Green what else he’s up to these days. He responded, “I’m going to continue my relationship with NBC. I have a television show development deal with them as well and hopefully some other talk show opportunities for later in the year. But yeah, I’m going to miss The Voice, too. I’m not coming back, guys.”
“I didn’t mean to drop the bomb today,” he added later.
He said he’s leaving NBC’s successful singing series because “I don’t want to wear out my welcome. I have so many other things I want to do — I haven’t released an album in four years.”
Green has taken breaks from the judging job, taking off its fourth and the new season of The Voice, as has Christina Aguilera. But he and Aguilera have returned for the show’s fall editions, with Usher and Shakira filling in for them last spring and this Season 6. Last month, TV critics attending a Q&A for his TBS reality series CeeLo Green’s The Good Life asked if he would be back to the NBC show in the fall; his response: “Yes, I will gladly go back if they will have me.” He later seemed to hedge, adding that he has “other ambitions.”
Green is the first to leave the show’s original judge lineup, which also includes Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. His announcement, which will be broadcast on DeGeneres’ program today, comes not long after Fox announced the end of its singing competition series The X Factor, simultaneous to show creator/chief judge Simon Cowell announcing he was returning to appear on the British edition of that franchise.
Green has to deal with a felony drug charge hanging over his head — Los Angeles prosecutors have accused him of providing the drug ecstacy to a woman during a dinner in 2012. Green has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.