After 15 seasons, American Idol will end next year. FOX announced that the 2016 season will be the reality show's final season.

The news was unexpected, but not surprising. Keith Urban will join Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. in the judges’ chairs for the final season. Host Ryan Seacrest will also return, making him the only one of the show’s many stars to appear during all 15 seasons. The 40-year-old Seacrest was originally paired with Brian Dunkleman during Season 1 in 2002.

Urban is back for a fourth season. He’s been a steady influence on the show’s singers, giving supportive by honest advice to the finalists. The show hasn’t produced a country star since Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery. Carrie Underwood is the only other country singer to win the show — she did in 2005 — but numerous others have been "born" on Idol.

The 15th and final season of American Idol will be a “season-long celebratory event,” FOX says. In addition to searching for a superstar, the show’s producers will pay homage to the previous 15 seasons. The announcement came among the network’s other 2015-16 scheduling reveals. It’s not clear if mentor Scott Borchetta will return. His name was not mentioned.

Ratings for America's first singing reality competition have fallen steadily since a 2006 peak of 36 million for the finale. This year the show netted a series-low 11.6 million during one week. That's still more than most shows on television, but not enough to justify the expense. A tour, auditions and celebrity talent make Idol a very expensive endeavor. In 2014 it was reported that Urban made $5 million per season, while judges like Lopez pulled in triple that!

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