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Lythgoe Claims ‘SYTYCD’ Won’t Air Twice Yearly

Producer-judge of Fox’s reality hit says two seasons per year is too much. But a final decision may not have been made

Could Fox’s "So You Think You Can Dance" be returning to a once-a-year format?

That’s the word from the show’s ever-chatty executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe.  According to TheWrap’s man about town on the party scene, Mikey Glazer, during the audience warmup for Wednesday night’s live results show, Lythgoe told audience members a twice-yearly, back-to-back format was simply too much for him.

For most of its life, "SYTYCD" has been an annual summer event, anchoring Fox’s warm-weather lineup. This year, in an attempt to bolster its traditionally weaker fall schedule, the network opted to air another cycle of the series just a few weeks after the usual summer season ended.

Against much tougher competition, the dance competition show took an expected ratings hit. But it also helped stabilize Fox’s fall, boosting ratings in key timeslots. Bottom line: Fox is having its best fall in memory and heads into "American Idol" season a lock to finish the 2009-10 season in first place.

That might be one reason a Fox rep sought to downplay Lythgoe’s comments, noting it would premature to assume that any scheduling decisions have been locked in.

Fox didn’t flatly dismiss the notion, and indeed, it’s been widely known that the network has never considered a twice-a-year "SYTYCD" something that would last indefinitely.

One wild card in Fox’s decision-making could be "The X-Factor," the long-percolating Simon Cowell music series that might finally come to the States next year … or might not, depending on how contract talks with Cowell go. If "X" — or some other reality series — gets a greenlight, Fox might not even have room for two editions of "SYTYCD."

Whatever its frequency, this much is certain: "SYTYCD" will be back for another season next year.