In a statement DeGeneres said, "A couple months ago, I let Fox and the 'American Idol' producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on 'Idol' and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”
“We love Ellen and understand and support her decision to bow out of 'Idol,'” stated Peter Rice, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Networks Group. “We were fortunate to receive the humor, energy and love for talent that she brought to the show.”
"American Idol" is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc. and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.
This season also marked the final one for judge Simon Cowell, who has been with the program since its inception. There has been no announcement about a replacement for either Cowell or DeGeneres.