Longtime American Idol
executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick won't be returning to the
singing competitions series next season, a Fox spokesperson confirmed on Saturday.
"The passion and dedication that Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick
brought to American Idol guided the
show to become a true cultural phenomenon," said Fox, FremantleMedia and 19
Entertainment in a joint statement. "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
On Twitter, Lythgoe said he was fired from the show,
though he remains in business with Fox as executive producer and judge on So You Think You Can Dance. Warwick had
been with the show since its 2002 premiere after working on the U.K.'s Pop Idol.
Their exits come as American
Idol is undergoing a complete overhaul in the wake of ratings declining 25%
in its most recent 12th season. Three of its four judges -- Randy Jackson,
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj -- have confirmed their departures and this week longtime
Fox Sports executive David Hill was tapped to oversee both Idoland The X Factor
while Fox searches for a permanent replacement for reality chief Mike Darnell,
who is leaving the network at the end of June.