Coming off a revived American Idol and another season of So You Think You Can Dance, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has two series and two hosts (Ryan Seacrest and Cat Deeley) nominated for Emmy Awards this year. Idol in particular hopes to break its streak of being nominated for outstanding competition series a record nine times straight without a win. Lythgoe spoke to EW about Emmy odds, how Simon Cowell’s The X Factor will perform, and tackled a rival’s claim that Idol “hides” openly gay contestants.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Idol has been the most popular show on TV for years, and has spawned many imitators, yet has never won the competition Emmy. Is that fair?
NIGEL LYTHGOE: I’m certainly at this point in time not going to moan about the Academy members. I can’t say it’s annoying, but you just hope you’re going to get it. I’m not one of those people who think it’s wonderful to be nominated again, I would like to win it. There’s no question about it.
Do you think Idol can break its streak this year?
I think it’s fair to say if Idol doesn’t win it this year I don’t really ever see it winning. We had such goodwill this year from everybody. The program itself was very strong. It isn’t just about ratings or we would have won it every year. There’s no question Amazing Race is a beautifully produced show. We’re totally different. We’re live the night we do it and make up an entirely new show the next night again. It’s really comparing apples and oranges. But if you look at the actual content from when we first hit air until we closed with our finale with Lady Gaga and Beyonce, it’s remarkable. If it were me, I’d take all that into account.
Obviously the revamp worked, the ratings didn’t miss a beat. Yet some said, “Oh, Idol judges were too nice.” READ FULL STORY