Kevin Reilly: Former Fox Boss Says Time Is Right To End ‘American Idol’

"It is time to be over...and everybody agrees”

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Kevin Reilly(Photo: Fox)

Kevin Reilly

Stick a fork in it — AMERICAN IDOL is done!

Kevin Reilly — the former programming boss at Fox — says this is “most definitely the right time” to retire the long-running music competition.

“The show was extraordinary, one of a kind, an incredible experience,” he told TV writers in Pasadena this morning.  “But it is time to be over.  And everybody agrees.”

Reilly oversaw all programming decisions at the network from 2007 until his departure in 2014.  He is now Chief Creative Officer for Turner Entertainment and head of both TBS and TNT.

During his tenure at Fox, Reilly admits he struggled with the decision of if and when to pull the plug on a show that attracted 37 million viewers at its peak.

“[IDOL] was 59 hours of our schedule,” he says.  “So you have a giant person on this end of the see-saw, no mater what you do on the other…it is really hard to right the ship.

“People wrote about ‘ratings are down’…You have almost 100 hours between X FACTOR and IDOL, and that is going down, there is almost nothing you can do.

“I really loved my Fox experience,” he says in hindsight.

“I have a lot of friends there.  I wish them well.  But the last two years (on the job) was not a lot of fun.”

AMERICAN IDOL airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly