Summer skein once ran two episodes per week

Fox is cutting back returning unscripted series “So You Think You Can Dance” to one episode per week, according to the series’ executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, who broke the news to fans on his Twitter account on Sunday.

“Fox has cancelled the results show so I will have to change the format of ‘SYTYCD,’” Lythgoe tweeted. “At least we have another season at the end of May.”

A spokeswoman for Fox could not confirm the network’s decision.

The elimination would open up an hour of primetime real estate on Fox’s summer schedule that hasn’t been available for the past eight seasons.

Once a vital tentpole of Fox’s summer schedule that premiered the night after the finale of “American Idol,” “SYTCD” ratings have faded over the years, averaging about 5 million total viewers over its past two seasons.

Fox programming chief Kevin Reilly indicated earlier this year that he was keen to get more scripted fare on during the summer but hasn’t disclosed any specific such project.

What will take the place of “SYTYCD” has not yet been determined.

“SYTCD” typically has one episode in which its dancers perform to retain their spot on the series, followed the next night by a results show in which the fate of the ousted dancer is revealed. How exactly that format will be tweaked to one hour per week hasn’t yet been determined.

“Don’t worry ‘SYTYCD’ fans,” Lythgoe added via Twitter. “I’m thrilled we have a new series. We’ll do our best to find some great talent starting next week in Atlanta.”

While other long-running unscripted series including “Idol” and ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” have been running two episodes per week, the format has attracted critics who knock them for padding an hour of primetime with content that could easily be dispatched in quicker fashion.

19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Prods. produce “SYTYCD.”

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