After longtime exec producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick were shown the door last week, Fox’s “American Idol” has tapped Per Blankens to executive produce the singing competish for its upcoming 13th season.
“Per is a creative and experienced executive who has been the show runner on the blockbuster Swedish Idol for more than 5 seasons,” said Trish Kinane, “Idol” executive producer for FremantleMedia North America. “He is extremely passionate about Idol and I’m very excited about his ideas and vision for keeping Idol creatively vibrant. He brings the talent and energy needed to keep ‘American Idol’ strong.”
Blankens produced “Idol” in Sweden from 2007-2011, and has served as managing director of Friday TV, part of Shine Group, and head of programmes for Meter TV. He has overseen Scandinavian iterations of programs including “Idol,” “MasterChef” and “Biggest Loser.”
“The Idol franchise is a worldwide phenomenon and I’m honored to be a part of the most popular of the franchises, ‘American Idol,’” said Blankens. “I can’t wait to get started as auditions for the new season are just a few weeks away.”
Hiring of Blankens also follows Fox’s appointment of David Hill to oversee “Idol” and “X-Factor” for the network.