randy paula simon

*Former “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has called for original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson to be reinstated in a bid to save the flailing talent show.

Lythgoe announced on Monday (June 9) that he and fellow executive producer Ken Warwick had left after 13 years in charge. The latest season suffered a severe drop in ratings, despite the panel boasting superstar names including Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.

Nigel Lythgoe

Nigel Lythgoe

Lythgoe, who sits as a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance,” insists executives at Fox network should return to the original format to prevent “Idol” from being scrapped.

“I believe in getting people together, testing their chemistry which is what I did with Randy, Paula and Simon,” he tells E! Online. “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.”