FOX announced Monday morning that the next season of “American Idol” will be its last. The show was renewed for the 2015-2016 season, offering fans one last chance to vote for their favorite unsigned singer.
According to a FOX press release, season 15 will feature Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. as they “search for the final ‘Idol’ superstar and pay tribute to the past 14 seasons of amazingly talented contestants and the millions of fans who tweeted, texted and championed their idols.”
The show is not the ratings juggernaut it once was. Since crowning Kelly Clarkson its first idol in 2002, “American Idol” was the top rated show on television from 2003 to 2011. Fans turned out in the millions, making “Idol” a cultural sensation and launching the careers of numerous stars, including Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson and Katherine McPhee — not to mention turning Ryan Seacrest from an L.A. radio host into a media titan and helping America fall in love with Paula Abdul all over again.
“American Idol” is not the ratings behemoth it once was. During its peak, “Idol” was drawing in 30 million viewers on average. But since then, the show pulled in a scant seven or eight million since its sixth season, regularly being outperformed by the likes of “Modern Family” and “Criminal Minds”.
The “final season celebration” starts in January.