Fox Chairman on 'American Idol': 'Much that has been written is accurate'

As expected, Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice told the nation’s TV reporters today that he had nothing new to report on the ongoing negotiations with potential American Idol judges, other than to say that “no one has signed a deal on either side of the camera who wasn’t on the show last year.” He did hint that “much of the information that has been written is accurate,” but he also added that some reports written have “been widely inaccurate.”

So far, Fox has not confirmed reports that former Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe would return or that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler would replace Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres when the show returns in the spring.

“The goal has to be to put on a great TV show,” Rice told reporters who gathered at Fox’s annual TV Critics Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. “There is a journey finding these kids, and there is sort of alchemy (to achieve) on the judges’ panel. Does that mean we should replace them identically and cast the same person? I don’t think so but we have the obligation to put on the best TV show. Simon’s departure meant there was going to be a natural evolution.

“When we are working with the No. 1 TV show, the scrutiny is enormous,” Rice continued. “I truly wish we were going to (debut) a panel of judges and that could be a celebration for us, and we could engage with you on that, I’m sorry that is not going to happen.”

Rice did acknowledge that he began talking to DeGeneres in June about her wanting to leave, and that he tried to persuade her to stay.

Comments (56 total) Add your comment
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  • Hooper

    Just end the show already. It’s time has come and gone.

    • Jacko

      YES – cancel the show

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    • Mineion

      I second that! Cowell is going to kill it with X factor

    • nonnie

      They are not going to cancel a show that is cheap to produce and has the highest ratings.

    • Tim

      Duded, there’s such a simple solution for you: change the channel, or just turn the TV off.

  • flaids

    I wish they could get the Twilight cast!!

    • Marci

      Actually, Steven Tyler could easiely pass as one of the Twilght’s cast .

      • Michael

        He looks less twilight and more dawn of the dead.

      • Lunakit

        You guys are funny!

  • idolfangone

    I don’t care who you get, no one can replace Simon. This show has lost its luster. Just put it out of its misery already.

    • tennisfan

      Actually, I’m kind of surprised by this kind of sentiment from so many people. I mean, think back to before summer 2002, did you have any clue who Simon Cowell was or care that he was going to be a judget on a TV show? I guess I like to think positively and conjecture that there’s more witty, capable personalities out there that could easily be just as entertaining and effective. For me, it just remains to be seen — no declarations before I actually see it in action.

      • Jacko

        old news – cancel IDOL

      • CracklinRosie

        There is NOBODY out there who even comes within a zillion miles of being as witty and entertaining as Simon. I’m with everyone who says cancel the show, because without Simon, it’s completely worthless.

      • Michael

        For all the haters on these boards, there surely isn’t the viewer attrition to reflect it. Cancel it. Kill it. Not going to happen.

      • Sarah D

        I agree tennisfan. I’m reserving judgement until I see the new judges in action.

    • googliezoo

      I simply don’t understand this obsession with the judges. Does no one else watch for the actual singers? THAT is why last season was lackluster–not the judges, the performers were boring and THAT is why season eight was good. Adam Lambert was an exciting performer and there were several others who were also entertaining. If they don’t get a good crop of contestants that’s what will kill the show, not the judges. My criteria for them is the ability to actually pick talent. If they can do that I’m good.

      • Frosty

        Totally agree!!!

      • Ladybug979

        The judges pick the contestants we vote on that’s why they are important so if we thought last years contestants were boring then we need better judges.

    • Taylor

      I always liked Simon, but he should have left sooner. He just phoned it in this year, making it perfectly clear that he didn’t care in the least. When you collect a paycheck, you should do the job — whether you like it or not. He didn’t. I’ve lost a great deal of respect for him because of it.

  • darclyte

    The show is about the singers, not the judges. As long as the judges do a good job picking the talent, what they say and do is somewhat irrelevant.

    • Cato

      Very good point. The best moments come from the contestants, either with great performances or horrific train wrecks. Tight competitions are also exciting (Clay vs. Ruben, Adam vs. Kris, Crystal vs. Lee). No one even remembers what the judges say. It’s hard to translate anything that comes out of Randy’s mouth anyway.

  • steven

    Glad their thinking seems to be on the right path. Though the show is definitely not about judges, the judging panel is an integral element to the flow of the show. But it needs to be brief, likeable, and reflect credibility. Each of the judges should be strong and confident in thier words, and just bring it, and then move on. Picking great contestants, who more importantly than being a complete package, are going to entertain us with beautiful songs, is the most important thing here!!!

  • Stephen

    Make the show a comedy and get Ricky Girvenius (however you spell his name), Steve Carrell and Jessica Simpson and play Simpson as the credible music star – that would be some funny stuff.

  • Donna Wasileski

    I think they should cancel! I was at the auditions in New Orleans with my son and the judging is absolutely ridiculous. It’s all about ratings. There are certain judges only letting in the “bizaar” acts. Doesn’t matter if you have talent if you get one of those judges. Thumbs down!

  • Samantha

    Donna, if your son could truly sing he would have gotten in so sorry to bubble burst.

    • CracklinRosie

      NOT true. A lot of amazing singers get turned down at the cattle call auditions. Jordin Sparks was turned down at the first round of the last cattle call for Season 6. She got a second chance by winning Arizona Idol and getting to bypass the cattle calls and go straight to the judges. So, yes, they can and they did throw away a potential winner.

    • Diana

      Not really. You can be a great singer and never get past the first or second round of auds. AI TPTB have passed a lot of good people to let the people that’ll make good tv through. Really, ability to get to Top 24 is based a lot on luck.

    • googliezoo

      And also look at Amber Riley. She auditioned for AI and didn’t get on. The show likes to fill the show with one singer per music type. You’ve got your country singer, your rocker, pop singers, etc. and they probably already had their sassy black R&B singer. She’s kickin’ butt on Glee now, though, a much better career than AI would most likely have gotten her.

  • sarah

    Really, if you think about it, it is people like us, spending time on the internet, searching this news out, that all this chatter is really making it a debate. I bet the majority of the idol viewing audience is going to watch the show regardless who the judges are. Some may be disappointed and there will be much water cooler convo, but the show will go on, maybe it will not be the number 1 show in America but then again people may be pleasantly surprised in liking the changes, and it will surpass expectations. Time will tell.

  • Samantha

    i know i’ll watch, beats bout anything else on tv. right now i’m forced to watch america’s got talent. lol

  • Diane

    Focus on getting talent on the show. Cut back on the filler. Make the show about finding the next Kelly, Carrie, Glambert or Aiken and it’ll be the top watched TV show again. Idol was fading because the would be idols were boring.

    • ME

      So what you are saying is promote only females and gays?

  • Celia

    I say bring back Paula and fill the 3rd chair with Ozzy Osbourne.

  • Barb

    No contest. I’m watching Simon Cowell any day over Steven Tyler. Sorry Steve. You’re all yap and no substance.

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  • why would fox cancel idol? it’s far and away the number one show on television and you know it’s making them obscene amounts of money that affords them the capital to make a “dollhouse”, “fringe”, “house”, etc. even if the ratings slip, it’s still going to be ridiculously profitable, so get off your high horses and get a brain.

  • simon

    Sorry, it’s not just all about the singers cause some of them couldn’t entertain a flea. As good as Crystal was, she had zero personality and neither did, the winner, what’s his name. It has come down to the fact that it doesn’t even matter if you win anymore; being in the top 10 is enough to have some sort of future. The show is so over.

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