Tech director Pritchett to replace Gowers

The producers have voted, and John Pritchett has made the cut as the new director of “American Idol.”

Pritchett replaces longtime “American Idol” helmer Bruce Gowers, who departed the smash Fox competish late last month (Daily Variety, Feb. 22).

Pritchett is no stranger to the show, having served as technical director on “Idol.” He had worked closely with Gowers in handling the show, which programs more live broadcasts than any other primetime series.

“He’s phenomenal,” said one “Idol” insider. “He knows the show well.”

Pritchett was part of the “Idol” team that won the Emmy in 2007 for technical direction, camerawork, video for a miniseries, movie or special (for work on last year’s “Idol Gives Back” spesh).

He’s also served as a technical director on a wide range of kudofests, including the People’s Choice Awards, Billboard Music Awards and Kids’ Choice Awards. His other credits include “Dancing With the Stars,” “Roseanne” and the 49th annual Grammy Awards.

A separate director is expected to be named to handle this year’s “Idol Gives Back” event. FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment produce “Idol”; both were unavailable to comment.

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