Former American Idol boss Nigel Lythgoe has called for Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson to be reinstated as judges in a bid to save the flailing talent show.

Lythgoe announced on Monday (09Jun13) that he and fellow executive producer Ken Warwick had left after 13 years in charge of the U.S. Tv series.

The latest season suffered a dramatic fall in the ratings, despite the panel boasting superstar names including Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, and Lythgoe, who sits as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, insists executives at America's Fox network should return to the original format to prevent Idol from being scrapped.

He tells E! Online, "I believe in getting people together, testing their chemistry which is what I did with Randy, Paula and Simon. After that, whoever you bring in is a risk because we've (seen) it happen before. It's one of those things, you don't know how anybody's going to be as a judge. You could be the greatest singer in the world (but) that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a good judge. That little team, Randy, Paula and Simon, again are the template for judges forever now."