To paraphrase one of its popular elimination anthems, American Idol is having a bad day.
The long-running singing competition, not one of its singers, is being voted out by Fox, which will give it a 15th and final season next year. A once-monumental hit that delivered on its promise to create huge recording stars has seen its ratings nosedive in recent years, with the last couple of winners failing to draw much attention in an increasingly fragmented entertainment world.
Fox announced the upcoming end of Idol in a 2015-16 schedule announcement released Monday morning in advance of the network's presentation later in the day to advertisers in New York.
The cancellation was "not an easy decision," says Fox Networks Group co-chief Gary Newman, but "we all felt collectively it was time to bring American Idol to an end." He says the final, 15th run "will be a true season-long celebration," and producers are looking for "surprises we can have for fans" that will make the farewell as "significant as the run it had on our network."
Host Ryan Seacrest, who has been with the show since its beginning as a summer series in 2002, and its critically praised judging panel, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr., will be on board for the final run.