First hitting TV screens in 2002, and launching the careers of stars including Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks and Carrie Underwood, Fox confirmed that the upcoming 15th season of the programme – which will air in January 2016 – will be the last. The current crop of judges, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr., will remain in place for the final showing, with host Ryan Seacrest also staying on.
To celebrate it’s big finally, there have been hints that something fresh could be in store for the season, which will apparently honour its previous years. At the moment there is no word on exactly what that means.
At one point American Idol was the most popular show on TV, winning 41 million viewers during the last half hour of the premiere in 2006. 36 million viewers tuned in to see Jordan win that series’ final.
Simon Cowell was one of the judges when American Idol launched, but he left in 2010 to bring The X Factor Stateside. After his departure there was a revolving door of judges, with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Steven Tyler, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj all doing the honours at one point.
This year the run saw a low point of 11.6 million people switching on. Although it sounds like a lot, the programme is expensive as there are judges’ salaries to consider, as well as booking big name talent to perform at the live shows. On top of that there are now many similar programmes being broadcast, such as Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine’s The Voice.
American Idol isn’t the only casualty of the new season’s TV schedules. Last week it was confirmed that The Mindy Project had been culled, and it’s also curtains for Kevin Bacon’s programme The Following.