What was once unthinkable is now a reality: Fox has canceled “American Idol.” The show will go out with one more season, and you can expect former judges and contestants to pop up. That means Paula is coming back, right? We just don’t think it would be a real farewell without watching Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell up there together one more time. For now, the only confirmed regulars are this season’s judges, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban, as well as the show’s only participant from season one, the possibly immortal Ryan Seacrest.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Fox CEO Dana Walden called the cancellationa “pretty emotional decision,” and co-CEO Gary Newman promised that the final season will be a “season long celebration.” Does that mean we can watch Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini reenact their cinema classic, “From Justin to Kelly”? Yep, remember when “American Idol” had a spinoff movie? What a long, strange trip it’s been, “Idol.” The show first premiered in 2002, meaning you’ve been watching fresh-faced youngsters try to sing their way to the top through both Bush administrations, and both Obama administrations.
Also of note: The show drew 36 million viewers at its most popular point, back in 2006 for its seasonfinale. It’s down to 11.6 million viewers this year, which is still a huge number! But not quite big enough to overcome the various costs of running the show. It’s up to “The Voice” to continue providing us with a season’s worth of hopeful singers.