‘American Idol’ Founding Producer Wylleen May Exits After 22 Years

“American Idol” founding producer Wylleen May won’t be returning for the ABC series’ next season.

May, who has been with “American Idol” since its launch over two decades ago on Fox as well its revival on ABC, was let go by Fremantle, the production company behind “American Idol.” The former executive in charge of production exited following the most recent season of “American Idol,” which concluded a month ago on May 19.

“Wylleen has played a crucial role in helping build the lasting legacy of ‘American Idol’ over the course of 22 seasons. She steered the production to enduring success, and we are deeply grateful for her contributions and dedication to the show,” a Fremantle spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap.

While May was the subject of an HR investigation last year, Fremantle stated that the “decision to make staffing changes for the next season was not based on the conclusion of any investigation.”

“We wish Wylleen the very best in all her future endeavors,” the Fremantle statement concluded. “She will bring tremendous value to any project she works on.”

Season 22 also marked the exit of Katy Perry, who judged alongside Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, with Ryan Seacrest serving as host. Perry’s replacement has yet to be announced.

The “Teenage Dream” pop star announced her impending exit ahead of Season 22’s debut, revealing in a February appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that she’ll “probably” exit the show after the upcoming 22nd season.

“This fall, in September, I’m going to be doing this huge music festival in Brazil called Rock in Rio,” Perry told Kimmel. “So I think this will probably be my last season for ‘Idol.’”

Produced by Fremantle and 19 Entertainment, a part of Sony Pictures Television, “American Idol” is executive produced by showrunner Megan Michaels Wolflick, Fremantle’s Jennifer Mullin and Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman for 19 Entertainment. Fremantle distributes the series worldwide.

Deadline first reported the news.

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