‘American Idol’ to return for 15th and final season

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(May 11, 2015) – Get ready to say goodbye to “American Idol.” FOX announced Monday that it renewed the reality show for its 15th and final season.

Host Ryan Seacrest will return as will judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. They’ll look for the “final” American Idol as they embark on a season-long celebration of the previous 14 seasons and winners.

The show, created by Simon Fuller, debuted in 2002 with original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. Over the years, other high-profile stars have served as judges, including Steven Tyler, Ellen DeGeneres, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.

The show became a cultural phenomenon and a powerhouse for the FOX network, leading to a short-lived spinoff and the theatrical release of “From Justin to Kelly,” a movie featuring season one winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini.

In addition to Clarkson, the show introduced America to several stars who later became household names, including Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Katharine McPhee, Jordin Sparks, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Phillip Phillips and Adam Lambert.

The final season of “American Idol” debuts in January.