Pico Boulevard gate of Fox Studios in Los Angeles, California. Part of the New York Street set is visible in the background. Photo via Wikimedia Commons/downtowngal, November 2011
Pico Boulevard gate of Fox Studios in Los Angeles, California. Part of the New York Street set is visible in the background. Photo via Wikimedia Commons/downtowngal, November 2011

“American Idol” will end its run with the 2016 season, Fox announced as it unveiled its programming plans for the 2015- 16 season.

“It was not an easy decision,” Fox Television Group co-chairman and CEO Gary Newman told reporters on a conference call. “‘American Idol’ has been such a vital part of Fox for its run and we spent a lot of time talking with the producers about the future of ‘American Idol,’ and collectively, we all arrived at the conclusion that it was time to bring the show to an end.

“But we really wanted to do it in a way that felt special and celebratory and treated the show the way it deserved to be treated.”

The singing competition’s 15th and final season will “be a true season- long celebration,” Newman said Monday.

Through May 3, the Thursday “American Idol” episodes are 33rd for the season, averaging 11.55 million viewers, while the Wednesday episodes are 41st, averaging 10.56 million, based on live-plus-same-day figures compiled by Nielsen.

“American Idol” was television’s most-watched program for a record eight consecutive seasons from the 2003-2004 to 2010-2011 seasons.

Fox’s fall prime-time schedule will include two new dramas, two new comedies and a new comedy-horror anthology series, “Scream Queens.”

Series that won’t be returning include the comedy “The Mindy Project,” and the drama “The Following,” which both ran for three seasons; and the drama “Backstrom” and the comedy “Weird Loners,” which both premiered at midseason.

Of the five series Fox introduced last fall, only the Batman origin story “Gotham” will return for a second season. Two series that premiered at midseason will also return for second seasons, the drama “Empire” and the comedy “The Last Man on Earth.”

Fox’s new fall dramas are:

— “Minority Report,” based on the 2002 Steven Spielberg-directed film, follows “the unlikely partnership between a man haunted by the future (Stark Sands) and a cop haunted by her past (Meagan Good), as they race to stop th worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen,” according to Fox.

Spielberg is one of the series’ executive producers. This is the first of Spielberg’s films to be adapted for television.

— “Rosewood,” which stars Morris Chestnut as “the Beethoven of private pathologists, who performs for-high autopsies to uncover clues the Miami Police Department can’t see.

Fox’s new fall comedies are:

— “The Grinder,” stars Rob Lowe as an actor who returns to his hometown of Boise, Idaho after his television series ends and joins his family’s real law firm, despite having no formal education, no license to practice and no experience in an actual courtroom. “The Wonder Years” star Fred Savage co-stars as the brother of Lowe’s character

–“Grandfathered” stars John Stamos as a successful restaurateur and man-about-town who in six seconds learns he is a father and grandfather.

Fox announced in October that it had ordered 15 hourlong episodes of “Scream Queens,” which will be produced by the executive producers of “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan.

“Scream Queens” is described by Fox as “part black comedy, part slasher flick” and “a modern take on the classic whodunit in which every character has a motive for murder or could easily be the next blood-soaked casualty.”

Emma Roberts stars as the head of the most sought-after sorority, with Jamie Lee Curtis portraying a university dean. The cast also includes Lea Michele and Abigail Breslin with singer Ariana Grande having a recurring role.

Fox also announced that “The X-Files” will return on Jan. 24 as a six- episode event series.

Fox also announced it has ordered the dramas “The Frankenstein Code” and “Lucifer,” the live-action comedy “The Guide to Surviving Life” and the animated comedy “Bordertown” for midseason.

Here is the Fox fall schedule:

— Sunday: Football overrun; “The OT”/”Bob’s Burgers”; “The Simpsons”; “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”; “Family Guy”; “The Last Man on Earth”;

— Monday: “Gotham”; “Minority Report”;

— Tuesday: “Grandfathered”; “The Grinder”; “Scream Queens’;

— Wednesday: “Rosewood”; “Empire”;

— Thursday: “Bones”; “Sleepy Hollow”;

— Friday:  “MasterChef Junior”; “World’s Funnies;;

— Saturday: “Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football.’

—City News Service

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