'Idol' Producers Bail on Emmys

"American Idol" producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick won't be producing this fall's Emmy telecast after all.

FOX announced on Friday (May 4) that Lythgoe and Warwick are stepping down and veteran producer Ken Ehrlich will be overseeing the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Ehrlich produced last year's Emmy telecast and has 27 Grammy telecasts and dozens of other award shows and specials on his resume.

In a statement co-released with the network, Warwick and Lythgoe made a simple confession: They didn't think they had the time to do the Emmys justice.

"After we wrapped the enormous effort of Idol Gives Back, we looked at our upcoming slate of projects including the 'American Idol' finale and the additional shows we will be involved in this summer, and realized that we could not devote the creative energy and time necessary to make the Emmys outstanding for the Academy and FOX," Warwick and Lythgoe say in a statement.

The star-studded Idol Gives Back telecast has raised more than $70 million to date for variety of charitable organizations supporting children worldwide.

FOX announced Lythgoe and Warwick's involvement back in February and the duo promised to deliver "star power, production values, drama, suspense, tears and euphoria" to the Emmys.

"We respect Nigel and Ken's decision and are fortunate that Ken Ehrlich has agreed to return to executive-produce his fourth Primetime Emmy telecast," says Television Academy Chairman and CEO Dick Askin. "He did a terrific job with the Emmys last year, and we are glad to have him back."

The Emmys will be held at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, Sept. 16. If you're marking your calendar, nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 19.