November 20, 2015


'American Idol' Original Judges Returning for Final Season

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The upcoming 15th season of American Idol will be the swan song for the one-time reality juggernaut, and according to Ryan Seacrest, all three of the show's original judges -- Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul -- are returning for one more go-round.

"I've spoken to all of them recently and we as a team have talked to them about coming back to do something for the final season," Seacrest told Access Hollywood on Thursday (Nov. 19). The longtime host added, "They are going to do it -- it's just a matter of figuring what to do with them."

There have been 11 judges in the show's history, but the Jackson-Abdul-Cowell trifecta holds a special place in fans' hearts. The trio served as judges beginning in 2002, and departed the show one by one, starting with Abdul in 2010. Most recently, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. have been judging the show, and will all return for season 15.

The sure-to-be-tearful final season of Idol kicks off on Fox on Jan. 6, 2016.