Entertainment & Arts

American Idol to end in 2016, Fox announces

Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr will return for the final season

Long-running US talent show American Idol will end after its 15th and final season, which will be broadcast next year, US TV network Fox has confirmed.

Current judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr and Keith Urban will return, along with host Ryan Seacrest.

Fox said the last season would act as a "celebratory event" paying tribute to former contestants, winners and fans.

American Idol was launched by Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell in 2002, based on their hit UK series Pop Idol.

The show, whose original judges were Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, paved the way for a wealth of TV talent contests including The X Factor and The Voice.

It launched the singing careers of inaugural winner Kelly Clarkson and stars including Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Adam Lambert.

The show's celebrity judges have included Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Steven Tyler, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres.

Image copyright Fox / Twitter
Image caption Fox has said the final season will celebrate the show's history

American Idol also propelled host Seacrest to fame. He began by co-hosting with Brian Dunkleman.

The singing competition drew 36 million viewers in its heyday in 2006, but ratings have fallen every year since then.

Viewing figures for the current season - which is set to reveal its winner later this week - have dipped to 11.6 million viewers.

Fox made the announcement as it launched its autumn TV schedule, which will feature the next season of hit hip-hop Empire, The Last Man on Earth and Rob Lowe's new series The Grinder.

The line-up also includes Ryan Murphy's new comedy-horror series Scream Queens, starring Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis and Lea Michele, Gotham and the return of The X-Files.

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