american-idol-season-13

*Despite being in a ratings free fall for the past several years, “American Idol” has been renewed through season 14, Fox announced Wednesday.

Auditions will begin June 18 in Minneapolis and roll through a total of 15 cities, including Portland, Ore., Columbus, Ohio, Kansas City, Mo., Richmond, Va., Albuquerque, N.M. and more.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a renewal was never in question, despite a significant season-to-season ratings hemorrhage. “After the January axing of ‘The X Factor,’ Fox was not about to lose that many hours of dependable programming. As for that ratings dip, a 28 percent slide in the key adults 18-49 demographic, this 13th season has seen more and more record lows — but its season average still sees the benefit of heavy sampling during the audition weeks.”

“Idol” wraps the current season on May 21 with judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. We’ve heard rumblings that producers are looking to reunite original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson for the upcoming season – or perhaps the show’s final season, whenever it takes place – but that talk hasn’t gone past the rumor stage.

Ryan Seacrest, meanwhile, isn’t going anywhere. THR is reporting that he’s nearing a deal to return.

Randy Jackson speaks onstage during the 21st annual Race to Erase MS at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 2, 2014 in Century City, California

Randy Jackson speaks onstage during the 21st annual Race to Erase MS at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 2, 2014 in Century City, California

After a recent taping, in-house mentor and former judge Randy told us the three constants that have remained the key to advancement through all 13 seasons: