'American Idol': Saying farewell to the competition show that changed television

Kelly Clarkson. Simon Cowell. Ryan Seacrest.

Those are just a few of the names that were largely unknown in the United States before "American Idol" premiered in 2002. Fourteen years later, each is a household name – and television and pop music have taken different, visibly "Idol"-ized forms.


The singing competition, which began its last season in early January, opened the Top 40 to new talent and helped transform the record industry into a digital business. It whetted our still-raging appetite for ritualized talent judging. And it demonstrated that a live TV show could reach a mass audience – around 30 million people at its peak – well into the Internet age, a prospect that's driven network executives (for better or worse) ever since.

Saying goodbye to 'American Idol,' the talent show that took pop culture by storm

After 15 seasons on the air and in our lives, "American Idol" signed off for good this season. Or did it?

After the finale: 11 things to miss about 'American Idol'

I've been waiting all season long to feel a hit of nostalgia about "American Idol."

'American Idol' ratings soar in series finale

"American Idol" went out big Thursday night. 

'American Idol' finale recap: Trent Harmon and La'Porsha Renae vie for final crown

"American Idol" is definitely going out in style - and at the end of the day (and the season and the series) and after much farewell talk about stardom and

Here's what we know about the 'American Idol' farewell

"It's going to be the closest race in 'Idol' history," "American Idol" judge Keith Urban announced after La'Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon performed their final

The starmaker-mentor at 'American Idol' shines light on what it takes to succeed after the lights go down

Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records knows what it takes to turn an 'American Idol' winner into a star

Check it out, dawg: 'American Idol's' most memorable catchphrases

Here are some of the phrases and quotes that found their way into the cultural lexicon and will forever recall the phenomenon that was ¿American Idol,¿ dawg.

'American Idol' became a big star, but now it has been voted off

"American Idol" became an improbable hit for Fox. It was the No. 1 show for eight seasons. Now it's coming to an end.

'American Idol' was a game-changer in television and beyond

Amid recent seasons' diminished ratings, it's easy to forget the Fox show's once-massive cultural clout.

The end of 'American Idol' ripples through pop music, affecting artists, musicians — and even the judges

The "American Idol" finale kicks off Wednesday night, marking the end of a show that changed the music industry, affecting artists, musicians and even judges.

'American Idol' by the numbers

A behind-the-scenes peek as 'American Idol' tunes up for its final bow

Costumes, coaching and camera cues are all part of the `American Idol¿ process, soon to come to an end

Here are 10 of the most memorable 'Idol' performances of all time

The curtain is about to come down on "American Idol," Fox's phenomenal singing competition series that launched a genre of reality television shows devoted to novice singers aspiring to to be stars. After fifteen seasons packed with performances both good and not-so-good, ¿American Idol¿ ends its run April 7.

'American Idol' recap: Now it's down to three

"American Idol" reveals its Top 3: Dalton Rapattoni, Trent Harmon and La¿Porsha Renae.

'American Idol' recap: The Top 4 (and others) take the stage

¿American Idol¿ is winding down to its series finale, which is only two weeks away.

'American Idol' recap: Tristan McIntosh departs ahead of the top 5

"Where is everybody?" Ryan Seacrest wondered while gazing at the remaining final "American Idol" contestants scattered sparsely on risers on the side of the

'American Idol' recap: Top 8 trimmed to top 6

When it comes to singing duets, some do it better than others. That was clear enough on ¿American Idol¿ this week.

'American Idol' recap: The Top 10 whittled down to the Top 8

With five weeks to go before closing up shop for good, ¿American Idol¿ continued its valedictory march on Thursday, picking its very last Top 8.

'American Idol' recap: Kelly Clarkson returns to cheer on the top 10

A lot happened on "American Idol" on Thursday night. In the course of two hours, we learned the six singers who would join the judges' four "fast-pass" picks -

'American Idol' recap: Top 14 compete in tame 'Wildcard' round

This week, "American Idol" is set to reduce the Top 14 (chosen by the judges) to the Top 10 (only partly chosen by the judges). For reasons that are not

'American Idol' recap: Singers dig into duets; five more get ditched

'American Idol' recap: Singers dig into duets; five more get ditched

'American Idol' recap: 12 more sing in speedy solo round

"American Idol" had another lightning ... er ... "showcase" round on Wednesday night, in which 12 members of the Season 15 Top 24 did their best to prove their

'American Idol' recap: Five head home after 'Idol' reunion

It was old home week on "American Idol." On Thursday night, six "Idol" alumni - Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard, Season 3 winner Fantasia, Season 10 winner and

'American Idol' recap: Meet your final top 24

'American Idol' recap: Meet your final Top 24

'American Idol' recap: Hollywood group round does not disappoint

After Wednesday's soporific first night of Hollywood week, in which 190 contestants were unexcitingly albeit swiftly reduced to 108, on Thursday, "American

'American Idol' recap: Hollywood thins the herd

I suppose it's saying something about an episode of "American Idol" when the highlight of the whole thing may have been watching Ryan Seacrest do a few pushups

'American Idol' recap: The final night of auditions ... ever

The final night of "American Idol" auditions -- of Season 15 and ever -- offered up an assortment of singers cherry-picked from a variety of audition cities:

Who is the best 'American Idol'?

The votes have been cast and the numbers have been counted. The best "American Idol" is...

'American Idol' recap: Big voices in Denver and Little Rock

After its lackluster Philadelphia auditions, in which few talents turned up to grab a ticket to Hollywood, "American Idol" found a plethora of singers it deemed

'American Idol' recap: Trolling for talent in the City of Brotherly Love

Good talent isn't easy to phind in Philadelphia -- at least judging from Wednesday's episode of "American Idol," in which the show traveled to the cheesesteak

Kelly Clarkson, other 'American Idol' winners to appear throughout final season

Kelly Clarkson, along with other ¿American Idol¿ alumni will be a part of the long running singing competition¿s final season.

How the 'American Idol' premiere turned a funeral into a fresh start

For a first episode, the season premiere of "American Idol" sure had a lot to say about the end. Rarely was Wednesday's show far from a reminder that, after 14

'American Idol' recap: The final season begins

"American Idol" is back to say goodbye. After 14 seasons, some more successful than others, the show that Simon Fuller built - bringing his "Idol" franchise

'American Idol' on the way out after moving away from pulse of pop

Former ratings juggernaut "American Idol" lost its way some years ago, moving away from the pulse of pop, Mikael Wood writes.

'American Idol': The slow fade of an instant hit

'American Idol' dominated the TV landscape for years, but changing tastes, floundering ratings prompt Fox to end the show in 2016.

'American Idol': Why Fox is axing the show after 15 seasons

It may seem hard to remember now, but a few years ago "American Idol" was such a huge hit that a rival TV executive called it a "monster" that should be killed.

'American Idol': Where even the losers were winners

For a while, there was no greater prize on TV than the title of the next "American Idol." With the series ending next year, that title doesn't carry with it

When Simon Cowell became the guy everyone loved to hate

In 2002, Times reporter Susan King interviewed "American Idol" personnel, including producer and then-judge Simon Cowell about the show, its critics and its