Fox announces ‘American Idol’ to wrap after 15th season

FILE - In a Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014 file photo, from left to right, singer Keith Urban, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, and singer Harry Connick, Jr. arrive on set of "American Idol" in Los Angeles. Fox announced announced Monday, May 11, 2015 that "American Idol" will go off the air after its 15th and final season next spring. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. (MEDIA GENERAL) – Fox has announced longtime singing reality show “American Idol” will begin its 15th and final season in January.

The broadcasting company, while trumpeting its new lineup of programming for the 2015-16 TV season, announced “Idol” will hold “a season-long celebratory event … (paying) tribute to the past 14 seasons of amazingly talented contestants and the millions of fans who tweeted, texted and championed their idols.”

Host Ryan Seacrest and judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., are expected to stay on in their roles for the final season.

The reality show has been a ratings goldmine for much of its run. From season two through season 11, the final performance show and season finales finished in the top five for highest-rated shows of the season.

However, “Idol” has slipped in the Nielsen ratings in recent years. “Idol” averaged more than 20 million viewers every season from 2003 to 2011, averaging nearly 31 million viewers in 2006, according to CNNMoney. “Idol” averaged 10.3 million viewers last season and only 9 million so far this year. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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