'Idol' vets Lythgoe, Warwick step down

“American Idol” mavens Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick are out and awards show vet Ken Ehrlich is in as exec producer of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony.

Fox had tapped “Idol’s” dynamic duo to spearhead the Sept. 16 kudocast in a bid to inject some fresh producing blood into the Emmys, which have suffered from audience apathy in recent years (Daily Variety, Feb. 20).

The decision to go with Ehrlich came about because Lythgoe and Warwick have been consumed with their duties on “Idol” and the production of the two-hour “American Idol Gives Back” fund-raiser concert that aired last month. “Idol” is at the tail end of another blockbuster season that wraps with a two-hour edition on May 23.

“We respect Nigel and Ken’s decision and are fortunate that Ken Ehrlich has agreed to return to executive produce his fourth Primetime Emmy telecast,” said Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman Dick Askin.

In addition to “Idol,” Lythgoe and Warwick are working on projects to air this summer and thus “could not devote the creative energy and time necessary to make the Emmys outstanding for the Academy and Fox,” the duo said in a statement.

Ehrlich has a mile-long list of awards and live-event productions on his resume, including the 2005 and 2006 Primetime Emmycasts and no less than 27 Grammy Awards telecasts.

The 59th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live from L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium.

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