Jimmy Iovine Leaving American Idol, Randy Jackson Likely To Return – Report
The more things change on American Idol, the more they stay the same.
Deadline is reporting that music producer Jimmy Iovine is leaving the reality singing competition, where he served as in-house mentor for the past three seasons. His likely replacement? Much-maligned, recently-departed judge Randy Jackson.
Iovine, co-founder of Interscope Records and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, joined the series in its 10th season, not only filling the no-nonsense void left by original judge Simon Cowell. In addition, Iovine’s Interscope Geffen A&M took over for Cowell’s label in releasing the albums of the Idol finalists. However, while the show has ended its relationship with Iovine, the series doesn’t seem to be hurting for top-shelf music executives: not only is Dr. Luke in talks to join the judging panel this season, reports indicate that Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, could also find himself a spot on the show for season 13.
As for Jackson, who announced his departure from the judging panel in May, Fox head honcho Kevin Reilly stated this month that Jackson “will be back in some capacity,” adding, “He is a friend of the show, and certainly guests spots (are a real possibility).” A mentor position for Jackson would provide a sense of familiarity for the fanbase, as this upcoming 13th season has seen a host of show-altering changes. Along with the shakeups at the judging panel, David Hill will replace Fox reality head Mike Darnell in overseeing the show, while Per Blankens, Jesse Ignjatovic & Evan Prager replace longtime executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick.
However, given Jackson’s relative lack of popularity among the fanbase in recent years, the question remains whether this is necessarily the best move for the battle-worn franchise, even with what would be a limited appearance schedule. In some respects, it’s condescending of FOX to think that fans need a familiar face to lull them into a sense of security about the season, and it straight-up borders on hubris for the network to think, even if the fans did need a warm blanket, that Jackson would be the solution.