Fox has announced that current judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. will be returning for Season 14, as will host Ryan Seacrest.
The American Idol on-air team will stay intact for Season 14. Amrican Idol” may ‘t be the ratings powerhouse it was previously, but for now at least, its star power remains undiminished: Fox has announced that current judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. is going to be returning for Season 14, as will host Ryan Seacrest.
“I am thrilled our consummate host, Mr. Ryan Seacrest, is returning for Season 14, along with Jennifer, Harry and Keith,” “American Idol” creator and executive producer Simon Fuller said Monday inside a statement. “Their interaction, warmth and experience built them into an absolute joy to watch. I can not wait to see their evolution together continue next season.”
The return of Connick, Urban, Lopez and Seacrest brings some stability to the long-running reality competition series, which has seen its ratings tumble amid numerous judging panel overhauls in recent years. Because of its 12th season, “American Idol” replaced Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler with three new judges: country star Urban as well as the toxic duo of Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. The undisguised hostility between the two divas proved to be ratings poison, using the show’s average numbers declining with a whopping 23%.
Producers made a problem of rejiggering “American Idol” for its 13th incarnation, bringing Lopez back to the fold and hiring nice guy Harry Connick Jr. like a judge. The kinder and gentler retooling may have won “American Idol” some praise in the critics, but it didn’t stop the show from hitting an all-time ratings low this season, with only 10.2 million viewers jamming for the finale on May 21.
“American Idol” producers appear to be betting that it’s safer to stick with a formula that kinda-sorta works rather than subjecting this program to yet another drastic face-lift, and it is not hard to understand why: As shown by the soft premiere of ABC’s “Rising Star” on Sunday, the demise of “The X Factor” this season and the already-dwindling numbers for NBC’s “The Voice,” viewers are apparently growing weary of singing competition shows, so why bother with more gimmicks?