'American Idol' to Axe All Four Judges
It looks as if American Idol is dropping the nuclear bomb for Season 13.
Randy Jackson already announced that he's no returning after this bout of the show ends, but it seems that none of the judges on the singing competition will be asked to return. According to The Wrap's sources, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey will be replaced, as will longtime producer Nigel Lythgoe. "All four are gone," the insider told The Wrap. "They feel they've lost their core audience and they want it back."
While it is true that NBC's The Voice has successfully attracted younger viewers with their panel of judges and concept, Fox is set to make major on-air changes to Idol. The most notable of which will be an entirely new judging panel, a redesigned set and the axing of tribute nights. The show's trademark audition episodes will continue. The network has also resolved to stop paying the huge salaries it has been shoveling out for its big name talent, so that means Carey's reported $18 million package, Minaj's $12 million salary and former judge Jennifer Lopez's $15 million will all cease to be bankrolled.
The show, which brings in $836 million in ad revenue, is not facing any cancellation, but Fox's meltdown has everything to do with the talent competition's declining viewership. Ratings are already down 22 percent this season and it hit a series low for rating last Thursday when it only attracted 11 million viewers and a 2.4 rating / 7 share in the ad-coveted 18-49 demographic. With viewing in decline for several seasons now, it seems that Fox is cutting off cancers in hopes of saving the body.
What does this all mean for the show that is currently on the air now? We'll have to see as the judges now all go back to the regular jobs.