American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said tonight he gets “sick to some degree of the (product) integration because (other) people have a different idea of what integration means. For me, it’s a smooth, organic process, whereas for other people, it’s, ‘Hi! This is a Coca-Cola!’ ” Speaking at a BAFTA-sponsored event at the Digital Hollywood conference, Lythgoe described a continual push and pull between show sponsors and producers that can be quite innovative but requires a lot of careful straddling of lines. “Everyone’s trying to use this as a platform,” he said. “They’re trying to stretch things all the time. I want to move those damned Coke cups. Especially when (rookie Idol judge) Nicki Minaj is sponsored by Pepsi. It gets on your nerves sometimes when it’s too obvious. You don’t want product forced on you. So we just have to be careful.” READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: Shine America has entered an exclusive, multi-year production partnership with Nigel Lythgoe Prods., the company of the executive producer of American Idol and exec producer/judge of So You Think You Can Dance. Under the pact, which starts January 1, Shine and Lythgoe will develop and produce new series for the global TV marketplace. “Nigel is clearly one of the world’s leading television producers, with an unmatched track record in TV programming both here in the U.S. and in the UK,” said incoming Shine America CEO Rich Ross. Added Elisabeth Murdoch, Chairman of Shine Group, “I have known and admired Nigel for a long time. The creative potential of our partnership is truly staggering and I am more than delighted to be able to be working with him.”
For the past decade, British-born Lythgoe has been based at 19 Entertainment (now CORE Media Group), since the company’s founder/former owner, American Idol creator Simon Fuller, brought him in as TV president in 2001 to help develop the concept for Idol. Last year, Lythgoe launched Nigel Lythgoe Prods. as a joint venture with 19. That joint venture will keep control over the company’s existing series, Opening Act on E! and Chance To Dance on Ovation, as well as all current development, while all future projects will go through Shine. (Shine International will handle international distribution of those future projects). Lythgoe is not severing ties with 19 — he remains executive producer on both American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance for the foreseeable future. His hands-on involvement in the two series has been keeping him busy almost year-round, leaving little time for developing and producing new shows.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Fox’s first TCA panel Monday brought together representatives of So You Think You Can Dance, nominated last week for six Emmys, including Outstanding Reality Competition Program. But both during and after the session, judge Nigel Lythgoe was not surprisingly peppered with questions about his other day job: producing American Idol. Lythgoe was asked to address the current musical chairs involving judges, including the recent departure of Steven Tyler and the probable (at least according to Lythgoe) departure of Jennifer Lopez. “I can’t make any comment about my negotiations”, he said. “What I said to Ryan [host Ryan Seacrest] is, I was really upset about the possibility of Jennifer leaving. She did say 99% percent [sure that she’s leaving], which is a strange thing to say. 99 percent — you’re either leaving or you’re not leaving. I’m hoping that 1% means she may not be leaving.”
“We want the very good and the bad.” That’s what American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said this afternoon is the core of the competition show. “It’s the bland people in the middle we want to get rid …
Ryan Seascrest took to Twitter today to announce that “we’re putting together a tribute for Dick Clark on @AmericanIdol tonight…just talked to @dizzyfeet”. The mentioned @dizzyfeet is the Twitter handle for Idol executive producer Nigel …
The father-son team of Nigel and Simon Lythgoe – producers of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, respectively – have a new dance reality series ready to go. It debuts August 17. The arts programming-focused Ovation sees the show as a way to brand it as a home for original programming to go along with the performance programming that normally fills its lineup.
Shine International, the worldwide distribution arm of Shine Group, has international rights to A Chance To Dance and will be taking it to MIPTV April 1-4 in Cannes, where it hopes to secure international sales.
Santa Monica, CA — March 12, 2012 The announcement was made today that Ovation, the only multi-platform network dedicated to art, artists and all forms of artistic storytelling, has green-lit a new dance competition series from executive producers Nigel and Simon Lythgoe. A co-production between their two respective companies, Nigel Lythgoe Productions (NLP) and Legacy Productions, A CHANCE TO DANCE follows Michael Nunn and William Trevitt — two former Royal Ballet dancers known as “The BalletBoyz,” as they audition, select and train a new American dance company.
‘American Idol’ EP Nigel Lythgoe Defends Slipping Ratings, Rules Out Changes, Takes Swipes At Rivals ‘The Voice’ & ‘X Factor’
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.
With American Idol’s ratings down well into double-digits year-to-year this season, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe claimed not to be surprised by the drop and even grew somewhat defensive with journalists during a conference call this morning. “You’re asking me how I feel about the 11th season ratings when I originally thought we’d be going off the air after three weeks (of season 1)?” he said. “Let’s be honest about this: We’re constantly compared against ourselves and our own ratings. Of course you’re going to see some sort of deterioration in the numbers.” Lythgoe sees the reason for the slippage as stemming from a combination of factors, chiefly the increased competition and resultant music reality series fatigue. “We’ve got The Voice and X Factor going now, and we’re all feeding from the same talent pool and of course the same ratings pool. …We’d always said we would never two Idols in a single year, and this is why. Now we have X Factor sitting there, and it feels just like Fox is doing two Idols a season. Add to that The Voice and of course there’s going to be viewer fatigue, as much you see when you have too many science fiction dramas or too many hospital dramas on television.” Lythgoe was quick to note that “we’ve still got the No. 1 show on TV in our 11th year. That’s pretty incredible. And after 11 years, I don’t think we should have to be defending ourselves. … Whatever bad press we’re getting about the ratings, I mean, my God the rest of the world would kill for these kinds of ratings.”
Fox’s summer staple So You Think You Can Dance, which was renewed for a ninth season in October, will undergo a format change, scaling down from two shows a week to one. “Fox have canceled the results show so …
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s Emmy coverage.
EXCLUSIVE: Is American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe unhappy with who’s going to be the show’s next two judges? It sure sounds that way. I caught up with him at the 8th annual BAFTA/LA Tea Party in Century City today and asked him to confirm that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez will replace Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres. “I must say, I really do love Elton John. He’s a huge favorite of mine,” Lythgoe replied to me. The producer added that Elton’s packed schedule is “always the problem”. Then Lythgoe revealed what strategy Idol is using on Elton to convince him to clear it and come on the show. “It depends on whether [he] wants to give back.” As Deadline Hollywood has been continually reporting, everybody connected to Idol has made no secret of the fact that Elton John has always been their first choice to replace Cowell. But no deal is in the offing not just because of the musician’s touring commitments but also because of his astronomical asking price. Which is why the musician’s UK publicist Gary Farrow told Deadline London Editor Tim Adler in late July that “There’s more chance of me fucking you than Elton being on U.S. Idol.” But it’s clear Lythgoe is still trying.
Lythgoe, who left Idol and then recently returned, also blamed Simon Cowell for Ellen DeGeneres not returning as an Idol judge next season. “I’m sorry she’s gone, to be honest with you,” he told me, “because I think there’s a place for Ellen DeGeneres on American Idol. And that is being the voice of the people. She wasn’t given a fair opportunity to serve that function.
Demonstrating that there are no hard feelings, exiting American Idol judge Ellen DeGeneres is returning to Fox for an appearance on tonight’s season finale of the network’s reality series So You Think You Can Dance, which hails from Idol creator/executive producer Simon Fuller, returning Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe as …