FOX has renewed American Idol for a 15th season but it will also be the venerable singing competition’s last year.
Ryan Seacrest will be back as host (he’s been with the series since its start) as will current judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban. and Harry Connick Jr. The network says that various alumni will return to reflect on the show’s impact and their experiences.
In its heyday, American Idol was the biggest show on television a drew huge ratings — and aired twice a week. During the fifth season in 2006, the Tuesday editions averaged a 12.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 31.2 million viewers. The Wednesday episodes averaged a 12.3 rating with 30.2 million.
It’s an understatement to say that the ratings have come down quite a bit over the years. This time around, FOX decided to air the program just once a week for much of the season. They hoped that trimming the number of episodes might help the ratings but it didn’t happen.
The current season’s Wednesday editions have averaged a 2.31 in the demo with 9.39 million. It’s still one of the network’s highest-rated shows but apparently it doesn’t make financial sense to keep it going. It’ll be interesting to see if the numbers rise in the final year.
What do you think? How do you feel about American Idol coming to an end next year? Too soon or not soon enough? Who would you like to see return to say goodbye?