"American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe opened up about the departures of judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler from the Fox musical competition show and offered hints to the show’s future during an interview today on “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest’s radio show, RyanSeacrest.com reports.
Commenting on the decisions by Lopez and Tyler to leave the show, Lythgoe said: “I have to respect both Jennifer and Steven’s decisions. They’ve got a much bigger career than just sitting judging ‘Idol.’ They’re both very talented people and you have to respect their decision to carry on and do what they were doing before ‘Idol.’ It breaks my heart, because I love them both dearly.”
Lythgoe thinks limiting the terms for judges might be a good idea. "I think what we’ve seriously got to talk about is just using people for a year,” he said during a call-in to “On Air with Ryan Seacrest.” “Because if we do want these big stars, and we do, you cannot take them away from what they do. That’s depriving the public of a star, for a start, but also earning a lot of money.”
Responding to rumors about who is in the running for judges’ jobs — Charlie Sheen and Jerry Lewis have been mentioned, with Denis Leary’s name also surfacing recently — Lythgoe said: "I love so many people. When names come by you go: ‘Wouldn’t they be fantastic, wouldn’t they be great.’ But at the end of the day … it’s chemistry. No matter how good you are as an individual, it’s how you fit into a panel of other people as well. So we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
That Jerry Lewis rumor may not be as serious as some people think. During the discussion of who the show might get to replace Lopez and Tyler, Lythgoe said: “I think it’s a tough one, there are so many names coming at me at the moment, I joke about it and say: ‘Oh, I’m looking for the Three Stooges or Jerry Lewis.’”