In view of Simon Cowell's recent announcement that he's leaving "American Idol," many fans will watch tonight's Season 9 premiere while contemplating the franchise's future.
The ninth season of "Idol" premieres at 8 p.m. tonight on Fox. The two-hour show will focus on Boston auditions. Wednesday, a 90-minute show will feature Atlanta auditions. That episode also starts at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Cowell announced on Monday that this will be his last season on "American Idol." He's working on a U.S. version of "The X Factor," a show he helped skyrocket to popularity in Britain. "The X Factor" will feature Cowell and will be included in Fox's lineup next year, reports say.
Prior to Cowell's news, Season 9 was already characterized by a variety of changes.
Most notably, comedienne Ellen DeGeneres replaces longtime "Idol" judge Paula Abdul. Also, the show will return to the format of having 24, rather than 36, semifinalists.
Weigh in on all the changes by visiting our "American Idol" blog. The blog will be updated "live" during tonight's show.