Swedish 'Idol' Producer Named EP of 'American Idol'

Swedish Idol executive producer Per Blankens has been
named to the same position on Fox's American Idol for its upcoming 13th
season, it was announced on Monday.

"Per is a creative and experienced executive who has
been the showrunner on the blockbuster Swedish Idol for more than five
seasons," said Trish Kinane, American Idol executive producer for
FremantleMedia North America. "He is extremely passionate about Idol
and I'm very excited about his ideas and vision for keeping Idol creatively
vibrant. He brings the talent and energy needed to keep American Idol

In addition producing Idol from 2007-11, Blankens was
managing director of Friday TV, part of News Corp.'s Shine Group, and head of
programmes for the Scandinavian production company Meter Television, where he
oversaw the Swedish versions of other Shine reality shows like MasterChef
and The Biggest Loser. In his last season at Idol, the program
had a 51% share of total viewers on Sweden's TV4.

Blankens' appointment comes days after longtime American
executive producers NigelLythgoe and Ken Warwick were not asked to return next season.