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Fox Announces 'American Idol' To End After 15 Seasons

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

OK, never mind the national political stage. Americans are pausing to mark the passing of a different national stage.

(SOUNDBITE OF CATHY DENNIS SONG, "AMERICAN IDOL THEME SONG")

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That of course is the theme from "American Idol," which is being canceled. Since 2002, this show's judges have decided the fates of thousands of would-be pop stars.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AMERICAN IDOL")

SIMON COWELL: You're good. You know, you're just very over-the-top.

RANDY JACKSON: I like you. I think you'd be great...

PAULA ABDUL: Yeah. I like you, too, but...

JACKSON: I think you got a nice voice. I think you still got to find out who you are and where it should fit.

INSKEEP: Those are the original judges - Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.

MONTAGNE: When "Idol" started, it was a brand-new concept.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AMERICAN IDOL")

RYAN SEACREST: The winner of "American Idol" 2002 is Kelly Clarkson.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

MONTAGNE: But it's no longer 2002, and TV talent shows are no longer novel. So Fox says "American Idol" will have one last run in 2016.

INSKEEP: Now, over the years, a few lucky people have lived the show's dream - artists like Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar after being on the show, singer Carrie Underwood and that first champ, Kelly Clarkson.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STRONGER")

KELLY CLARKSON: (Singing) What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller. Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone.

INSKEEP: There's also been the appeal of people who did not have such obvious talent.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AMERICAN IDOL")

WILLIAM HUNG: (Singing) She bangs, she bangs, oh, baby, when she moves, she moves.

COWELL: Thank you...

HUNG: (Singing) I'm wasted by the way she...

COWELL: Thank you.

JACKSON: (Laughter).

COWELL: You can't sing. You can't dance, so what do you want me to say?

MONTAGNE: That man, William Hung, could say he actually made it to number one on a Billboard chart, his moment in the sun. Now that the show's moment is passing, the right note seems to have been sung by 2013 contestant Kree Harrison.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AMERICAN IDOL")

KREE HARRISON: (Singing) Here comes goodbye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.