‘American Idol’ ends its run

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‘American Idol’ ends its run


NEW YORK - The swan song of “American Idol’’ and heavy doses of comedy and sci-fi will mark Fox’s 2015-16 season.

The once-blockbuster singing contest, which launched the careers of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson, has seen its audience dwindle and age. “Idol’’ will come back next year for its 15th and final season with returning judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban, Fox said Monday.

It will begin in January, with stalwart host Ryan Seacrest ushering the show to a (hopefully) graceful conclusion after a long and influential run that, at its peak, drew 30 million viewers every week.

Ten new series will debut next season on Fox, including the comedy-horror series “Scream Queens’’ from “Glee’’ producer Ryan Murphy, with veteran scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis in the cast.

Writer-producer Chris Carter, who created a landmark Fox series with “The X-Files’’ (1993-2002), will reunite with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson to try to recapture the magic with a sequel starting in January.

New dramas will include “Minority Report,’’ based on Steven Spielberg’s futuristic film, and “The Frankenstein Code,’’ about a resurrected former lawman.

Fox and the other broadcast networks are unveiling their plans to advertisers in New York this week to lure them to spend on their programs.

Fans of freshman hit “Empire’’ won’t have to wait until next winter for new episodes. Fox announced Monday that the drama will be on its fall schedule. But viewers should brace for a break in the planned 18 episodes. It’s a split-season approach for Fox shows that network executives said will allow for a run of episodes with a midway cliffhanger - a way to create an “event’’ aura.

With the strong ratings last season, stars are eager to join in. Fox said Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys will make appearances.

“The stories we’ve heard for season two already are just going to blow away the audience,’’ said Dana Walden, Fox Television Group CEO and chairman. AP
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