American Idol
The current judges are Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr Reuters

After months of speculation, Fox has confirmed that it is axing American Idol.

The network announced on Monday (11 May) that it would be cancelling the talent show following its 2016 season.

In a statement posted on its website, the network said that the final season would be a "celebratory event" that would see the return of Simon Cowell, who quit the show in 2010 to launch the US version of his show The X Factor. Current judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr are also expected to return for the final hurrah.

"American Idol will begin its 15th – and final – season this January on Fox. A season-long celebratory event," it reads.

"American Idol XV will feature host Ryan Seacrest and judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr, as they search for the final Idol superstar and pay tribute to the past 14 seasons of amazingly talented contestants and the millions of fans who tweeted, texted and championed their idols."

Although no explanation was offered, it has been suggested that dwindling ratings was behind the move to cancel the show.

American Idol, which was the most watched show on US TV, has in recent years seen its popularity wane following the departure of Simon Cowell. It enjoyed its most success when the media mogul featured alongside Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson as the judging panel.

With the rise of shows, including The Voice, The X Factor and America's Got Talent, coupled with the multiple scandals, Simon Fuller's singing competition has never recovered.

The writing has been on the wall since 2013 when the show, which catapulted stars including Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson to fame, drew just 11.08 million viewers, an all-time low.