FOX announced that American Idol is coming to an end after its 15th season.
Season 15 begins in January, and Jennfer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr are all set to return as judges — as will host Ryan Seacrest.
Idol was once dubbed Fox’s Death Star, a series so popular it decimated any rival that dared to air at the same time. At the musical competition’s ratings peak in 2006, Idol drew more than an incredible 36 million viewers for its season finale. It’s a performance that was all the more impressive given that Fox packed as many as 41 episodes of Idol onto its schedule during the show’s relatively brief midseason runs—and many of those episodes were two hours long.
Yet ratings have fallen nearly every season since Idol’s peak. This year, Idol delivered a series-low 11.6 million viewers, and that’s including DVR playback. While Idol is pulling a higher average than some surviving shows, producing Idol isn’t cheap—there’s famous singers judging the talent, a multi-city audition tour, and live shows to produce.
The final season will pay tribute to the show’s previous years. If you ask us, ‘Idol’ should have been cancelled 3-4 seasons ago.