Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly, gearing up for his network’s upfront presentation in New York today, talked with reporters about what’s been happening at "American Idol" — and what’s in the cards for the suddenly ratings-challenged singing competition.
Among the changes that are in store, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed, the number of judges is expected to be reduced from four to three.
THR quotes Reilly saying: “We had some challenges … particularly in the fall.”
The report adds: "Rather than blame ‘Idol’s’ latest judges’ panel for the show’s record lows, Reilly pointed a finger at the show’s age as well as some of this season’s format changes (including separating the males and females for several weeks). Though he remained mum on details, he assured the press that there would be fresh twists to the format next season."
Reilly confirmed that Randy Jackson is leaving the show, something that Jackson already confirmed himself.
THR adds: "To hear Reilly tell it, ‘There’s not an ounce of ill will either way.’ As for the other judges, he would only say that the trio would be ‘welcome back’ but ‘everything is still on the table.’ Reilly and his team will begin conversations about next season as early as Friday morning, following the singing competition’s 12th season finale. The only hint he would offer on the judges’ front is that there will ‘likely’ be only three judges rather than the current four."
The report notes: "His network, which is poised to cede its crown as the top-rated network to CBS, has witnessed a 20 percent free-fall in the demo this past season. For what it’s worth, Fox will round out the season as the No. 1 network among the 18-34 demographic, and can point to ‘The Following’ as the season’s No. 1 new series."