Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick, the longtime executive producers of the Fox singing competition American Idol, have been fired from the show. Producers announced Monday that they had hired Per Blankens, the producer of Swedish Idol, to replace them. “It has been a tremendous honor to launch and build American Idol over the course of a decade and to see it recognized with 51 nominations and 6 Emmy Awards including the Academy’s highest honor, the Governors Award," Lythgoe said in a statement.

With ratings at an all time low — down 33 percent from last year — Fox felt it had no choice but to go in another direction. “The passion and dedication that Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick brought to American Idol guided the show to become a true cultural phenomenon,” Fox said in a statement. “While we are saddened they will no longer be executive producers on the show, we are grateful for their tremendous contributions and look forward to continuing to work with them on additional projects.”

American Idol also confirmed that new judges will be added for the show’s 13th season, as Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and original judge Randy Jackson will not be returning.

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