Swedish 'Idol' producer Per Blankens named new 'American Idol' executive producer
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/10/2013
American Idol's production company has announced Per Blankens, a European television producer, will replace Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick as the Fox singing competition's new executive producer.
Blankens most recently served as the executive producer on Idol, the top-rated Swedish version of American Idol, and has also overseen the country's versions of MasterChef and The Biggest Loser.
"The Idol franchise is a worldwide phenomenon and I'm honored to be a part of the most popular of the franchises, American Idol," Blankens said in a statement. "I can't wait to get started as auditions for the new season are just a few weeks away."
"Per is a creative and experienced executive who has been the show runner on the blockbuster Swedish Idol for more than five seasons," American Idol executive producer Trish Kinane added. "He is extremely passionate about Idol and I'm very excited about his ideas and vision for keeping Idol creatively vibrant. He brings the talent and energy needed to keep American Idol strong."
Fox released a media statement confirming Lythgoe and Warwick have been axed fromAmerican Idol after Lythgoe tweeted on Saturday he had been fired from the show prior to its upcoming thirteenth season.
Lythgoe and Warwick launchedAmerican Idol together during its inaugural season in 2002. Lythgoe left the show in 2008 but returned in 2010.