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'American Idol' producer Nigel Lythgoe joins Music Center board

January 27, 2012 | 12:52 pm


Nigel Lythgoe, of "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" fame, is joining the board of directors of the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles

Nigel Lythgoe, the uber reality-TV producer who was instrumental in launching Fox's "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance," is joining the board of directors of the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles, the organization announced Friday.

Lythgoe is one of three new appointments to the Music Center board. The others are Julia A. Stewart, the head of DineEquity, the parent company of the Applebee’s and IHOP chain restaurants; and Bertrand Valdman, a senior vice president at Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison.

The Music Center board is chaired by Kent Kresa, the former head of aerospace giant Northrop Grumman. Stephen Rountree serves as the organization's president and chief executive.

Lythgoe is executive producer of "American Idol." He left the show in 2008 only to return in recent seasons. He earned the unflattering nickname "Nasty Nigel" in the British media for his withering putdowns as a judge on the British reality series "Popstars."

A dance fan and former dancer himself, Lythgoe worked with fellow producer Simon Fuller to bring the reality series "So You Think You Can Dance" to U.S. TV audiences in 2005.

The Music Center, which is owned by the county, consists of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum. Dance at the Music Center is a resident organization that presents a seasonal offering of ballet and modern dance companies from around the world.

The organization said that Lythgoe lives in L.A. with his dogs, Bonnie and Clyde.


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Photo: Nigel Lythgoe. Credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times