After dumping longtime “American Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe, as we reported last week, the Fox singing competition has hired a replacement. Reuters reports that Swedish producer Per Blankens will take the lead behind the camera.
Lythgoe was fired from the show because of its ratings drop during the past season, the story reports.
“Blankens most recently was the executive producer of ‘Idol,’ Sweden’s version of the popular televised singing competition, and helped the show garner strong ratings on Swedish TV,” the report notes. “He will oversee the upcoming 13th season of ‘American Idol,’ due to premiere in January 2014.”
Trish Kinane, executive producer of the Fox series, said in a statement: "(Per) is extremely passionate about ‘Idol’ and I’m very excited about his ideas and vision for keeping ‘Idol’ creatively vibrant. He brings the talent and energy needed to keep ‘American Idol’ strong,"
Lythgoe, who is the creator of the Fox show "So You Think You Can Dance," reportedly tweeted after hearing the news: "just had 10 days in the Bahamas, rain everyday. I get back to the States and get fired. Sad!"
Lythgoe said in a statement today: "If the executives that are now in charge of ‘American Idol’ believe that the ratings will improve with my departure, I have no complaints. It has been a great ride and I’ve loved every moment of it.”
“His departure comes after judges Mariah Carey, [Nicki] Minaj and Randy Jackson announced they were leaving the show, along with Fox’s reality programming chief Mike Darnell, who will be leaving the network at the end of June,” the report adds.