The revolving door at “American Idol” continues prior to the start of season 13. You have likely already heard the news that the likes of Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Randy Jackson are not returning to the Fox series in the new year. Meanwhile, Fox’s head of alternative programming Mike Darnell, who is really responsible for the modern singing competition making it to television, also stepped down to pursue other opportunities.
So who looks to be joining this group? The producing team of Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two friends / producers, who have been a part of the show since its inception (though Lythgoe did take a break for seasons 8 and 9) are not expected to return in the new year. This means that not only will the show have at least two new judges, but there will be a new person or people in the showrunner role. Ryan Seacrest is the only confirmed personality to return, while Keith Urban’s status is unclear.
In one way, we’re sad to see Nigel and Ken go since so many contestants owe much of their success to the support they received both on and off-camera, and how involved these two really were in the operations of the show. However, the show also needs a shakeup creatively, given that many of the problems, save for hiring judges (which is on Fox and not the producers), involved repetitive theme weeks, song choices, and an edit this year that made it almost impossible for a man to have a chance at winning.
For more evidence as to just how much “American Idol” is struggling, ratings were down this season by around 40% in some measurements. Not only that, but almost a full month of tour dates has already been canceled.