LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Nigel Lythgoe is to return as an executive producer of "American Idol" next season, 19 Entertainment said Thursday.
"Since we launched the original 'Pop Idol' in England, I've remained close with Simon Fuller. Working as executive producer on 'American Idol' for its first seven years not only was an inspirational journey into the heart of American pop culture, it opened my eyes to the untapped potential of the incredibly dynamic young people in this world. I have been able to continue discovering raw talent on 'So You Think You Can Dance,' which I co-created with Simon," Lythgoe said in a statement. "'American Idol' became a juggernaut of epic proportions, but to me it was always like home. I am elated and honored to be rejoining childhood friend and fellow executive producer Ken Warwick, and look forward to creating more magic."
"I am so happy to be welcoming Nigel back to the 'Idol' family. He is without doubt the most accomplished executive producer I have ever worked with. Nigel helped to define the show I created almost 10 years ago, mentoring our judging panel and nurturing our talent. His unbridled passion has been missed," added "Idol" creator and executive producer Fuller.