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Nigel Lythgoe is striking before the iron cools off.
The American Idol executive producer, who flashes his extremely pearly whites in front of the camera as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, announced he's leaving the über-successful singing competition, which is heading into its eighth season on a ratings downswing despite still being the most watched show on TV.
"I will step back from my day-to-day producing work on American Idol and will be devoting my time" to a new development venture with 19 Entertainment head and fellow Idol mastermind Simon Fuller, Lythgoe said in a statement obtained Monday by E! News.
"Due to the huge success of So You Think You Can Dance, my summer will be taken up by travels to South Africa, Australia and Canada to work on local versions of the show," the 59-year-old former dancer-choreographer said.