Next contest for 'Idol' duo: the Emmys


Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick, executive producers of Fox's megahit "American Idol," have been tapped to work their magic on the Emmy telecast.

The duo have been named executive producers of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' 59th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, airing Sept. 16 on Fox. The show is set to air live from 8-11 p.m. (with a tape-delay in the Pacific time zone) from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

In making the announcement, Peter Liguori, president of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting Co., and ATAS chairman and CEO Dick Askin praised Lythgoe and Warwick.

"Nigel and Ken have consistently raised the creative bar with their innovative work on 'American Idol,' and we believe they will continue to do so during their first Emmy telecast," Liguori said.

Added Askin, "Nigel and Ken are terrific producers, and their expertise in live-event programming will be a major asset to this year's Primetime Emmy telecast."

Lythgoe noted that he and Warwick are up for the challenge by likening the Emmy show to an "American Idol" finale.

"The Emmy Awards not only celebrate excellence in television, the Emmy Awards are excellent television: star power, production values, drama, suspense, tears and euphoria, just like an 'American Idol' finale," he said. "While appreciating the traditional and maintaining the high standards of past Emmy Award ceremonies, we will also be recognizing the ever-changing landscape of today's successful television."

For his part, Warwick set a high bar for Lythgoe and himself.

"Shows with the prestige of the Emmys are a producer's dream, so I am really looking forward to the challenge and am confident we will produce for Fox the best Emmys to date," he said.

Lythgoe and Warwick's credits also include the U.K.'s "Pop Idol," which spawned "American Idol" and other similar series around the world, and the British series "Gladiators."

In the U.S., Lythgoe, who is president of 19 Television, co-created Fox's reality series "So You Think You Can Dance" and served as a judge. His other exec producing credits include Fox's "American Juniors" and ABC's "All American Girl" as well as the specials "An American Idol Christmas" and "World Idol."

Warwick is FremantleMedia's senior executive producer on worldwide productions of the "Idol" format, including "American Idol," "World Idol" and "An American Idol Christmas." In the summer, he exec produced NBC's "America's Got Talent."

The duo also starred in their own reality series on Fox Reality Channel, last year's "Cork- screwed."

Nominations for the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced at 5:35 a.m. PDT on July 19 from ATAS' Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood.