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American Idol 2 Finals - Press Room

Source: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

From TMZ: “American Idol” — once the king of all reality shows and the godfather of shows like “The Voice” and “The X Factor” — will be sent off to pasture in 2016. It was 15 seasons old.

“Idol” began in 2002 and at its height averaged 30 million viewers a season. The show introduced Simon Cowell to the United States and made Ryan Seacrest a household name.

Among the singers who owe their careers to the show: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Taylor Hicks. “Idol” even briefly brought Paula Abdul back into the limelight.

Fact is … on multiple levels it’s one of the most successful shows in the history of television.

The final season of the show will begin next January


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