'American Idol' Exec Producer Per Blankens Exits Show (Exclusive)
A veteran TV executive in his native Sweden, Blankens spent two years on the job.
American Idol executive producer Per Blankens is leaving the Fox show after two years on the job, a representative for FremantleMedia, the show's production partner, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
A well-liked presence on set, Blankens arrived from Sweden, where he oversaw local productions of Idol, Master Chef and The Biggest Loser as programming head for Meter Television, one of Scandinavia’s leading production companies. He also worked at Friday TV, part of The Shine Group.
During his 2012-2013 recent stint on Swedish Idol, the show had a 51 percent share of total viewers and, among young viewers, was ranked No. 1 in its time period with market shares of up to 60 percent.
The U.S. version of Idol, however, has seen a ratings depression, averaging 10.7 million for its 14th season, which wrapped Wednesday night declaring Connecticut's Nick Fradiani the winner.
According to sources, news of Blankens' exit started spreading among staff and crew on finale night. EP duties going forward will be handled by Fox executive David Hill and FremantleMedia president of entertainment programming for North America Trish Kinane.