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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 13

Nigel Lythgoe: I'm pissed Fox fired me from 'American Idol'

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/13/2013 

Nigel Lythgoe is apparently not too happy Fox's choice to fire him from his position as American Idol executive producer.

"Of course I've got hard feelings. I'm pissed off," Lythgoe told Access Hollywood with a laugh at the Critics' Choice Television Awards on Monday in Los Angeles.

"But, in truth, you say at the end of the day that this has been a fantastic journey and it really has [been] for me, personally. And I don't have hard feelings in that sense. This wasn't a personal, you know, 'You're fired! We hate you.' This was, 'Look, we really wanna make this program work and we believe we need to do something different.'"

Lythgoe said Idol hit a bump in the road recently ratings-wise because he believes the show's been going in the wrong direction.

"I believe the issue is that we lost our way, that we went for a young audience when really, we're a family show," Lythgoe explained.

"When we came over here, I said, 'We are going for targeting this middle age group that will bring the kids in and the grandparents.' And families I think, nowadays, feel very guilty they aren't together enough so if you have a program that attracts an entire family, you get what you want, which is that younger age group anyway."

Lythgoe also shared his thoughts on Idol potentially bringing back a few alumni -- former winners and/or finalists -- to serve on the three-person judging panel for its upcoming thirteenth season.

"My feeling with judges is I only ever chose three judges and [they were Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell]. But my feeling with that is you do have to screen test them. Just because you're a great singer does not make you a great judge," Lythgoe told Access Hollywood.

Lythgoe launched American Idol during its inaugural season with executive producer Ken Warwick, who also got the boot. Lythgoe left the show in 2008 but returned in 2010.

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