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Nigel Lythgoe Addresses 'American Idol' Ratings Drop

The show's executive producer is urging critics to "wait until the talent begins to surface."

Nigel Lythgoe
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For BAFTA Los Angeles
Nigel Lythgoe

Let's keep things in perspective: 26.1 million viewers may be a double-digit drop in ratings, but it's still a mind-boggling number, especially for a show that just passed the ten-year mark. 

But one person isn't complaining: American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who returned to the franchise after a two-year-break. "I am thrilled and delighted at the reaction to the new panel," Lythgoe tells THR, noting that the numbers were 45% higher than last year's finale performance night and 18% higher than the season 9 finale results show.    The original Mr. Nasty was all over his Twitter last night, retweeting both compliments about Season 10's premiere episode and the occasional insult, like this one from a particularly prolific commenter: "I'm still not watching. Idol is dead to me. No Paula, no Simon, no good talent in 4 years = DEAD!!!!! Let it go, Nigel."   Self-deprecation aside, Lythgoe promises loads of awe-inspiring performers in the weeks to come. "Wait until the talent begins to surface," he says. "There will be more than one star this year."