American Idol: Nigel Lythgoe Has 'Hard Feelings' Over Exit, Says He Understands It Wasn't 'Personal'

Access Hollywood
Nigel Lythgoe arrives at the Broadcast Television Journalists Association 3rd Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 10, 2013 -- Getty Images
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Nigel Lythgoe arrives at the Broadcast Television Journalists Association 3rd Annual Critics' Choice …

Nigel Lythgoe has mixed feelings over parting ways with Fox's "American Idol," the show he served as an executive producer on.

"Of course I've got hard feelings. I'm pissed off," he said with a laugh as he spoke to AccessHollywood.com's Laura Saltman on the red carpet at the Critics' Choice Television Awards on Monday night in Los Angeles. "But, in truth, you say at the end of the day that this has been a fantastic journey and it really has [been] for me, personally. And I don't have hard feelings in that sense. This wasn't a personal, you know, 'You're fired! We hate you.' This was, 'Look, we really wanna make this program work and we believe we need to do something different.'"

Nigel blamed the show's recent problems on the reality singing competition not appealing to families.

WATCH IT NOW: Nigel Lythgoe On His American Idol Departure

"I believe the issue is that we lost our way, that we went for a young audience when really, we're a family show," he told Laura. "When we came over here, I said, 'We are going for targeting this middle age group that will bring the kids in and the grandparents. And families I think, nowadays, feel very guilty they aren't together enough so if you have a program that attracts an entire family, you get what you want, which is that younger age group anyway."

Asked what he thinks about the rumors that three "American Idol" alumni could be brought in to serve on the judges' panel, Nigel said he thinks they should be screen tested together first.

PHOTOS: 'American Idol' Alumni: From Kelly Clarkson To Candice Glover

"My feeling with judges is I only ever chose three judges and [they were] Randy [Jackson], Paula [Abdul] and Simon [Cowell]. But my feeling with that is you do have to screen test them. Just because you're a great singer does not make you a great judge," he said.

Nigel is the co-creator, executive producer and a judge on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," which is currently airing on the network.

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