Nigel Lythgoe Speaks Out on 'American Idol' Firing: 'I Am Truly Saddened'
“If the executives that are now in charge believe ratings will improve with my departure, I have no complaints,” says the executive producer.
Just two days after confirming that he had been fired as executive producer of American Idol, Nigel Lythgoe is focusing on the positives.
While the television veteran says he's “truly saddened to be leaving a great team of friends and colleagues," he adds, "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.”
The 63-year old Brit said that he is looking forward to continuing work on So You Think You Can Dance, the show he co-created, as well as having more time to devote to Nigel Lythgoe Productions and its new partnership with Shine America. Still, he said there is plenty to in his decade-long run to be proud of.
“It has been a tremendous honor to launch and build American Idol over the course of a decade and to see it recognized with 51 nominations and six Emmy Awards, including the Academy’s highest honor, the Governor’s Award,” Lythgoe said in a statement. “To be a part of the spin-off program, Idol Gives Back, was incredible. As well as raising nearly $200 million for various charities, it was a personal life-changing experience for me.”
Lythgoe adds that he has many fond memories working on the FOX show, including “the opportunity to produce and direct a magical sequence with Celine Dion together with Elvis Presley. This continues to be one of the highlights of my entire career.”
Looking back, Lythgoe said he believes that the show, which launched the careers of artist ranging from Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Phillip Phillips and "many more, spanning all musical styles and genres... changed the face of American television forever and eventually created a true global phenomenon."
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is to maintain this incredible platform for America's young talent,” he said. “This will only happen with the success of the program."