American Idol changed reality TV (though perhaps not the music industry), and its success was in large part due to executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. You might recognize Lythgoe as the British, ballroom-dancing judge on So You Think You Can Dance, a show he created.
However, back in 2002, Simon Fuller brough the singing competition show to the U.S. It was based on Pop Idol (on which Lythgoe was also a producer), which was based on a show called Popstars, which Lythgoe saw in Australia and brought to the U.K. And you thought American Idol was an original! Anyway, he's worked with Fuller for years and they're kind of a big deal, in case you didn't get that. They created So You Think You Can Dance in 2005 and it obviously became a hit as well.
Lythgoe has apparently been fired from Idol after two years back on the job. He left in 2008 to focus on SYTYCD, but came back in 2011. Now, it seems he's leaving again—but not by choice.
just had 10 days in the Bahamas, rain everyday. I get back to the States and get fired. Sad! Monday we choose our top 20. I'll smile again.— Nigel Lythgoe (@dizzyfeet) June 8, 2013
Yes, don't worry I'm on #SYTYCD. FOX still loves me. It's not a personal thing they just feel IDOL needs new leadership after 12 Seasons.— Nigel Lythgoe (@dizzyfeet) June 8, 2013
Ouch. This comes shortly after word that judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey will be leaving after only one season; longtime judge Randy Jackson is also leaving. He was the only one of the original three judges remaining. Though Idol continues to perform in the ratings, The Voice has proved to be a formidable opponent and even sometimes beat Idol despite less of an established presence. Next year will see a huge overhaul for the Fox show. They're really going to have to pull out the stops to keep it relevant—but should they?