‘American Idol’ season 12: On Randy Jackson, Nigel Lythgoe’s return

Typically, we reserve “American Idol” stories for folks who tend to compete on the show as contestants –but given all of the current uncertainty in regards to the show’s future, we wanted to focus on some of the questions when it comes to the production of next season.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Nigel Lythgoe still has yet to sign a contract for season 12 of the show, and the circumstances surrounding his potential return are not exactly clear. Meanwhile, it is being said that Simon Fuller, who has been the main behind the show since the very beginning, could end up having a smaller role this time around.

So why so many changes? There are really two factors to blame here:

The ratings – You can say that “American Idol” has judges who are too nice, that they use the same songs too much, or even that “The X Factor” is taking away viewers, but none of this would matter if the ratings stayed the same every year. Unfortunately, they dropped more than 20% last year resulting in the lowest-rated finale ever. Results shows were routinely beaten by “The Big Bang Theory,” and the show lost its footing as the undisputed king on non-sports TV.

New bosses – Core Media Group (formerly known as Apollo Global Management) recently purchased the group behind the show in CKx, and they may be wanting to put their own creative stamp on it. We know that they want some big changes before season 12 hits the airwaves, but it is unclear just what those changes are so far.

At the end of the day, this should be a mix of old and new with season 12. You already have Ryan Seacrest around as host, so why not keep both Nigel around and pair him with some new producers? That way, you have some fresh ideas along with the man who made the show a success to begin with. Meanwhile, you should either keep Randy Jackson or, in an idea we’re quite fond of, have him swap places with Jimmy Iovine since Jimmy may be the better judge of the two. We’re not opposed to keeping a face like Randy still on the show, since he has been there since the beginning — and putting Iovine on the panel at least makes sure you have someone who is at least a part of recent show history.

What sort of changes do you think need to be done before season 12? Stay tuned, as later this week we’re going to detail some of our own ideal judging candidates for next year (you can check out some of the rumored names over at this link).

Photo: Fox

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