Nigel Lythgoe "Fired" From American Idol: Executive Producer Confirms He's Leaving the Show
Nigel Lythgoe's time with American Idol has come to an end. Lythgoe, who was a longtime executive producer for the FOX talent show, tweeted on Saturday, June 8 that he is leaving the show.
"Just had 10 days in the Bahamas, rain everyday. I get back to the States and get fired. Sad!" the 63-year-old wrote.
Lythgoe's relationship with FOX has not come to a complete end, however, as he's still an executive producer on So You Think You Can Dance.
Tweeting of that show and telling fans that he is OK, he wrote, "Yes, don't worry. I'm on #SYTYCD. Fox still loves me.
Of the reason for his firing, Lythgoe simply explained, "It's not a personal thing they just feel IDOL needs new leadership after 12 Seasons."
He then ended his announcement by quoting Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu, writing, "The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, people will say we have done it ourselves."
An insider tells Us Weekly that the move was just one of many that FOX has in store in order to try and bring back what Idol once was. (During May's season 12 finale, ratings plunged to a record low, with a 33 percent drop from the year before).
"They are totally revamping the show for next season," the source explains. "They want to freshen up the entire enterprise from top to bottom."
British-born Lythgoe, who moved to the U.S. in 2002 to produce American Idol, briefly went on hiatus from the show during its eighth and ninth seasons, but came back for season 10.
Lythgoe and fellow executive producer Ken Warwick's exits were later confirmed by FOX in a statement.
"The passion and dedication that Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick brought to American Idol guided the show to become a true cultural phenomenon," it read. "While we are saddened they will no longer be executive producers on the show, we are grateful for their tremendous contributions and look forward to continuing to work with them on additional projects."