Fox will cancel “American Idol” after the singing competition’s 15th season next year, the network announced Monday. “American Idol” will go down as one of the most successful television shows of all time, launching the careers of multiple stars, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Phillip Phillips. But despite its far-reaching global brand, it has fallen victim to television’s great equalizer – ratings.

In its heyday, “American Idol,” which premiered in 2002, was the king of the ratings, peaking in 2006 with an average of 36 million viewers per night. By Season 13 last year, however, it was down to only 15.9 million viewers per episode, and in January the Season 14 premiere pulled in only a paltry 1.4 million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic.

That ratings slip has continued to be a problem for the show because as go the ratings, so go the sponsors. With fewer people tuning in each season, major sponsors have been dropping steadily the past few years. In January 2014, mobile provider AT&T called it quits after a multi-year partnership with the show. Then, a year later, Coca-Cola, which had been a major sponsor since the inception of “Idol,” cut its ties.

“American Idol” has transformed quite a bit over the years to try and hold fans’ attention. Cycling through numerous celebrity judges, introducing celebrity mentors and condensing the performance and results’ shows into one episode were all strategies designed to perk up ratings. But it seems the long-running reality show has finally run its course. Host Ryan Seacrest tweeted Monday to confirm Fox's decision to bring "Idol" to an end. 

Season 15 of “American Idol” will be the show’s last. Seacrest will again return to host, while Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban will serve as judges. The final run will premiere in January 2016.

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