‘American Idol’: Showrunner Trish Kinane Stepping Down, Megan Michaels Wolflick To Take Over

EXCLUSIVE: It’s the end of another era for American Idol.

Showrunner Trish Kinane is stepping down and retiring from the ABC show with exec producer Megan Michaels Wolflick moving up to take the big chair.

It comes ahead of the finale of season four on May 23 and after it was renewed for season five.

Kinane has been showrunner of American Idol since 2016 with season 15, its last on Fox, and the four seasons on ABC since 2018. She has been an exec producer of American Idol since its launch in the U.S. She has also held a dual role of President of Entertainment Programming for Fremantle and will also be stepping down from that position.

She will stay on as a consultant and exec producer on the show.

Megan Michaels Wolflick, who has been Kinane’s right hand for the last few years, has worked in various roles on the show for over 15 years.

Kinane said, “I am happy to have been instrumental in the continued success of America’s Got Talent and to have refreshed the American Idol format, shepherding it through its last years on Fox to its new home, and its recent commission for a 5th season, on ABC. I am leaving the show in good hands with an incredible team, and I am excited to be continuing as Executive Producer, whilst able to pursue some personal adventures.”

The pair have been at the coalface of getting the singing competition on air for the last 14 months. The show, which is produced by Fremantle in association with Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment, was one of the most high-profile shows to be shut down in the middle of production and got back up and running virtually.

They also got season four on air since February and have managed to avoid this season looking as non-Covid as possible. They also got live audiences back – one of the biggest non-scripted series to find a way to get crowds in safely – with around 50 people in Television City.

Kinane, who was also an exec producer on America’s Got Talent, moved to LA in 2012, having previously been President of Worldwide Entertainment for Fremantle in the UK and was an exec producer on The X Factor for Fox. Prior to joining Fremantle, where was joint managing director of Action Time, one of the U.K.’s first independent companies and international format distributors.

She started at Granada Television – part of what became ITV – and was exec producer of riotous and landmark music and chatshow Channel 4 series The Word, the series that saw Nirvana’s first ever appearance on British television.

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