Paula staying; American Idol “got a bit boring,” producer says

Despite reports that said Paula Abdul was close to quitting, the judge is staying with the show for American Idol 8, according to its executive producer.

“There’s never ever been any discussion that we would want to get rid of Paula, even if there were people in production that didn’t like her,” Ken Warwick told reporters during a Monday conference call, according to the Los Angeles Times. Of course, he doesn’t say anything about her leaving on her own, but did say “America loves Paula” and she’s “an integral part of this program. And as far as I’m concerned, I hope she’s there until the day it comes off the air. End of story,” Warwick said, according to Zap2it.

During that call, he also admitted the show “got a bit boring” at “the final 8 … if any of them didn’t have fantastic characters.” That’s why the show is making several major and minor changes, including bringing back the wild card round (allowing the judges to bring back eliminated contestants) and increasing the size of the semi-final group to 36. Those changes were formally announced yesterday, although word of them leaked online last week.

Warwick also told USA TODAY that he expects the show’s ratings to keep dropping. “I would be very surprised if, on this eighth series, the ratings didn’t suffer slightly, especially with this economic backdrop and the way TV audiences are going in general. I will do my best to offset that,” he said.

‘American Idol’ producer Ken Warwick admits, ‘It got a bit boring’ [Los Angeles Times]
‘American Idol’ Producer: Paula’s Job Is Not In Danger [Zap2it]
‘Idol’ changes tempo for Season 8 [USA TODAY]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.