Season 13 of “American Idol” will look somewhat different than Season 12 — starting with the number of people sitting at the judges’ table.
FOX Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly says it’s “likely” the show will go back to three judges for next season. Whether any of the three is Mariah Carey, Keith Urban or Nicki Minaj is still up in the air.
Reilly wouldn’t confirm any departures other than that of Randy Jackson, who said last week he was leaving the show. Asked if the other three would be welcomed back next season, Reilly says, “Absolutely. But everything is on the table at this point, and we’ll talk about it starting Friday [May 17]” after the season ends.
On a conference call with reporters Monday, Reilly blamed this season’s ratings decline — the show is down by more than 20 percent vs. Season 11 — on “Idol’s” age and some of the format changes this season, including separating the male and female singers for several weeks and giving the audience fewer chances to vote before the final rounds.
“We expanded some of the middle rounds, we did a boy-girl thing that went over three weeks. That is really where the ratings kind of took their biggest hit,” Reilly says. “So really if I were to point to any one thing, it might have been that format.
“The only thing I will confirm is that next year we will be, without getting into any specifics — our next season begins on the Friday morning after our finale. That’s when we’re really going to go to work in earnest, because I think the format more than anything will have a few fresh twists next year that we’ve already identified that I think will really be a nice little jolt.”