It’s an end of an era. One of the most successful reality series ever, American Idol, will end its run after one final season. Fox has renewed the venerable music competition series for a 15th season, which will be its last. Coming back are host Ryan Seacrest, who has been on the show since Day 1, as well as the judges for the past two seasons Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. In addition to the competition, Season 15 also will reflect on the show’s run and some of its notable alumni.
American Idol was a surprise breakout when it debuted in the summer of 2002. It introduced to American viewers Simon Cowell, produced several recording stars including Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson, and spent almost a decade at the top of the ratings. American Idol and the original British format Pop Idol influenced a slew of music reality formats that came after, like The X Factor and The Voice.
After a remarkable run as the biggest show on television, American Idol has been declining steadily over the past several years. This season, the show’s hours were trimmed. The decision to cancel Idol reflects Fox’s confidence in their scripted programming following the success of Empire, Gotham and The Last Man On Earth, as the network prepares to substitute the 40 or so hours taken up by Idol.
Longtime Idol host Seacrest reflected on Fox’s announcement that Season 15 will be the show’s last.
“American Idol has been a big part of my life for so long, it’s frankly hard to imagine it without it. It’s been a remarkable journey, and I feel very fortunate to have been part of a show that made television history in countless ways,” said Seacrest. “It’s a show about chasing and fulfilling dreams, and truth be told, it helped some of my own dreams come true too.”
“All the American Idol producers, judges, crew and everyone at Fox have been heroic in their efforts to create, produce and sustain such a groundbreaking show for so many years. I’m so glad they’re going to give us a season-long send off,” added Seacrest. “The last season will undoubtedly be a special and emotional one, but first I’m looking forward to closing out Season 14. The finale is always my favorite part — two live shows with lots of surprises, and, of course, one winner!”