The "American Idol" makeover continues, with The Wrap reporting that longtime executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick have been fired as part of the creative changes designed to win back viewers for Season 13. Fox declined to comment on the report.
Lythgoe (who also serves as a judge and executive producer on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance") and Warwick have been with the reality series since its debut in 2002, and also produced its British predecessor, "Pop Idol."
"American Idol" was already set to look very different next season, with current judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson announcing their exits after Season 12, which saw "Idol's" lowest-rated finale in the show's history.
Rumors abound that the show's producers are aiming for a judging panel populated by "Idol" alums such as Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson for Season 13, although Clarkson's reps have denied her involvement.
Now, The Wrap reports that those negotiations have stalled -- despite the fact that Hudson's contract is "essentially done" -- after Fox's reality chief, Mike Darnell, exited the network on May 24.
A source reportedly told The Wrap that Darnell's departure has left no one at the top to make the final decisions on casting new judges, adding to the rumored "dysfunction" between Fox and "Idol's" production companies, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment.
It also remains unclear whether remaining judge Keith Urban will stay on the show, and whether the producers will aim to plug the holes on the panel with one alum or several in that case -- The Wrap posits that "Idol's" producers may be holding off on signing Hudson in case they can secure Clarkson, who remains a more popular and commercially successful choice.