‘American Idol’ will end in 2016: ‘It was not an easy decision’

Keith Urban, left, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. are the judges on "American Idol."

Keith Urban, left, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. are the judges on “American Idol.”

(Dan Steinberg / Invision/Associated Press)

The next season of “American Idol” will be its last.

Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chairmen and chief executives of Fox Television Group, made the farewell official on Monday when they announced their schedule for the 2015-16 fall season.

“It was not an easy decision,” said Newman. “It’s been such a vital part of Fox during its run.”

Newman said the network and “Idol” producers FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment “felt collectively with them the right time for the franchise to close.”


By announcing a final season, Fox will get a chance to honor the show.

“It’s going to be a true season-long celebration,” Newman said.

“American Idol” made its premiere in 2002 and was the dominant show on television for much of its run. But ratings declined rapidly in recent years for the singing-competition show.

The executives also set a Jan. 24 date for the six-episode reboot of the Fox sci-fi favorite “The X-Files.” It will get launched behind Fox’s broadcast of the NFL’s National Football Conference championship game.

Fox’s Monday programming will feature the second season of “Gotham” at 8 p.m. “Minority Report,” the futuristic thriller based on the 2002 feature film directed by Steven Spielberg, follows at 9. Spielberg is an executive producer on the series.

The network will add two comedies on Tuesday. “Grandfathered” stars “Full House” alum John Stamos as a bachelor who learns he has a son and a grandson.

Rob Lowe and Fred Savage return to prime time with “The Grinder.” Lowe is a TV lawyer who joins his brother’s law firm after his series is canceled.

“Scream Queens,” an anthology series from “American Horror Story” and “Glee” executive Ryan Murphy, will air at 9 p.m. Fox said it will “meld, comedy, mystery and drama.” The cast includes Jamie Lee Curtis and Lea Michele.


”It’s a horror-comedy that Ryan describes as ‘Heathers’ meets ‘Friday the 13th’,” said Walden.

“Rosewood,” a new drama starring Morris Chesnut a police pathologist, leads off Wednesday, followed by a second season of Fox’s biggest hit “Empire,” the top series on broadcast TV among the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 age group.

“Empire” will have 18 episodes, up from 13 last season. Newman said it will be split into two runs.

“Bones” and “Sleepy Hollow” will be paired on Thursday. Reality shows “Masterchef Junior” and “World’s Funniest” will hold down Friday.

Fox will air live sports on Saturday and will return its comedy lineup of “Bob’s Burgers,” “The Simpsons,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Family Guy” and “The Last Man on Earth” to Sunday.

Fox is holding back its veteran comedy “New Girl” until January. When it returns it will be paired with a new ensemble comedy, “The Guide to Surviving Life” starring Jack Cutmore-Scott.



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