BRAND NEW ON E!
American Idol has gone out of the country to find a new showrunner.
Fox confirms that Per Blankens, executive producer of the Swedish version of Idol, has closed a deal to serve as executive producer of the Fox series, replacing ousted bosses Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick.
The move comes on the heels of announcements that Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson are all off the show, while Keith Urban revealed to us last week he still has not been told whether he will return.
Though the initial plan, per sources, was to replace all four judges with Idol alums (Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson and either Clay Aiken or Adam Lambert), we are told that plan is being reconsidered due to the changing of the guard. Fox reality boss Mike Darnell also decided to leave the network, along with the firing of Lythgoe and Warwick.
Blankens was also head of programming for Meter Television, a Scandinavian production company that oversaw versions of Idol, MasterChef and The Biggest Loser.
The 13th season of Idol starts in January.