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Lythgoe, Warwick exit Primetime Emmy stage

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"American Idol" executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick have stepped down as exec producers of this year's Primetime Emmy Awards.

The 59th annual edition will now be executive produced by Ken Ehrlich, an awards show veteran who has produced 27 Grammy telecasts and three Emmy shows including this year's Grammys and last year's Emmys.

"After we wrapped the enormous effort of 'Idol Gives Back,' we looked at our upcoming slate of projects including the 'American Idol' finale and the additional shows we will be involved in this summer, and realized that we could not devote the creative energy and time necessary to make the Emmys outstanding for the academy and Fox," Lythgoe and Warwick said in a joint statement.

Fox and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences made the announcement in February that Lythgoe and Warwick would be running this year's Emmys (HR 2/22).

Said ATAS chairman and CEO Dick Askin: "We respect Nigel and Ken's decision and are fortunate that Ken Ehrlich has agreed to return to executive produce his fourth Primetime Emmy telecast. He did a terrific job with the Emmys last year, and we are glad to have him back."

This year's Emmy telecast is set to air live (with a tape-delay in the Pacific time zone) on Fox at 8 p.m. Sept. 16 from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.