Nigel Lythgoe Confirms 'American Idol' Firing
"Don't worry ... Fox still loves me," writes the longtime executive producer and co-creator of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance." Fellow EP Ken Warwick is also out.
It's Official: Nigel Lythgoe has been fired as executive producer of American Idol.
The longtime Idol fixture, who briefly went on hiatus from the show during its eighth and ninth seasons, confirmed the news via his @dizzyfeet handle on the micro-blogging site, Twitter.
"Just had 10 days in the Bahamas, rain everyday. I get back to the States and get fired. Sad!" Lythgoe tweeted this morning.
Lythgoe added that he has reason not to be blue -- he's still with Fox for So You Think You Can Dance, which is stepping up the competition this week: "Monday we choose our top 20. I'll smile again."
"Yes, don't worry. I'm on #SYTYCD. Fox still loves me," he continued. "It's not a personal thing they just feel IDOL needs new leadership after 12 Seasons."
Although viewers complained that Lythgoe was responsible for stale theme nights like the songs of Burt Bacharach, he also had supporters, like Idol alum Jacob Lusk, who sent words of support after the announcement.
"You are one the best things that's ever happened to TV," Lusk tweeted.
Lythgoe and fellow executive producer Ken Warwick's exits were later confirmed by Fox in a statement, saying "The passion and dedication that Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick brought to American Idol guided the show to become a true cultural phenomenon. While we are saddened they will no longer be executive producers on the show, we are grateful for their tremendous contributions and look forward to continuing to work with them on additional projects."
The Hollywood Reporter reported on June 4 that the two longtime friends were expected to exit. The official word comes on the heels of reports that longtime Fox Sports veteran David Hill will take on oversight of both Idol and X Factor.
For his part, Lythgoe seems to be taking a zen approach to his fate, choosing to tweet a quote from Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu: "The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, people will say we have done it ourselves."