August 11, 2008 10:00 AM by Paulene Hinds
American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe (better known as the smiling judge on So You Think You Can Dance) is leaving the singing competition.
As American Idol heads into its eight season on a ratings downswing, despite being the most watched show on television, Nigel has decided to devote his time to a new development venture with 19 Entertainment head Simon Fuller.
Nigel has been very busy this summer travelling to South Africa, Australia and Canada to work on local versions of the highly successful “So You Think You Can Dance.” He is a dancer-choreographer himself, so it would be fitting that SYTYCD is dear to his heart and would encompass more of his time than American Idol.
A deal, which involves TV, film and stage projects was also confirmed by the company and will involve producer Simon Fuller as well who stated that Nigel is “The best producer I have ever worked with.”
Although Fox wishes Nigel the best, they are disappointed and will try very hard to keep their viewership up this season. The show dropped more than 2.4 million weekly viewers already between 2007 and 2008.
A Fox rep stated, “He is an extraordinarily talented producer whose creative contributions to the number one show on television have been immeasurable.”
There has been no word yet who might replace Nigel and if they are going to, they had better do it fast as auditions for the eighth season of American idol began July 17 in San Francisco and the team of Paula, Simon and Randy will grace Kansas City Mo., this Friday, August 15.
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Photo Credit: Sacbee.com