On Monday, May 11, Fox announced that the longtime running reality competition series will be singing its final note in the fifteenth and final season, which will premiere in January 2016.
Some fans immediately began to speculate about the return of original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson, and Fox producers said they are hoping the dream team will return in some capacity.
“We would welcome any of them back,” Chairman and CEO of Fox Television Group Dana Walden said in a conference call. “We’re having conversations with them about anything that you can imagine about what would be celebratory and what would feel nostalgic and all the things you might do to send the show off in a way that feels memorable. I will tell you there’s a lot of enthusiasm about coming back and paying tribute to a show that launched many many successful careers. I think there’s going to be a lot of enthusiasm about former contestants and judges being a part of the show.”
For now, Lopez, Urban, and Connick, Jr. are the only judges officially returning, but look for more announcements about returning Idol alumni as auditions for season 15 begin this summer.
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