FOX Ending ‘American Idol,’ Final Season Bows in 2016

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FOX

Now that Upfronts 2015 have entered the scheduling phase, we thought most of the major renewals, cancellations and pickups had delivered their biggest surprises. Not so apparently, as FOX has decided to put American Idol out to pasture after 15 seasons, ending the reality singing competition for good next year.

FOX made the announcement early Monday morning, clarifying that the upcoming 15th season of American Idol would serve as the iconic reality series’ last. Current judge roster Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban will all return for the final bow in January 2016, though Season 15 will also “pay tribute to the past 14 seasons,” and surely return some of the show’s most notable judges and alum.

First debuting in 2002, American Idol undoubtedly ranks as the progenitor of America’s most recent love-affair with the reality singing competition, despite falling off in popularity the past few years. Season 2 even started off a trend that kept American Idol afloat as TV’s highest-rated show for the better part of a decade, where today Idol often fell in second position to NBC’s The Voice.

Whether or not American Idol’s end was overdue, it’s easily the end of an institution, one that will go down singin’. How should the series close out after 15 seasons, and some of its biggest contributions to pop culture?

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