Dawg! DeGeneres Pulls Out of Idol

DeGeneres out: we hear Larry King is available

BEVERLY HILLS, CA–Now we get why there are open notebooks and buzzing Blackberrys at all those press tour sessions. The most compelling news keeps happening outside the confines of the Beverly Hilton.
Fox put out a release today announcing that Ellen DeGeneres (right) has stepped off the American Idol juggernaught. DeGeneres’ quote from the release:

“A couple months ago, I let Fox and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on Idol and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”

DeGeneres’ departure leaves two deck chairs to fill on this Titanic, which seems to be sinking faster than Stephen McPherson’s chances for a comeback in the TV business.
Dawn Ostroff, the entertainment president of The CW (and, shockingly, the longest-serving U.S. network president dating back nine years to her UPN days) tried to get past the sudden McPherson departure with a simple “I wish Steve all the best.” 
Pressed to get off script comment further, Ostroff told critics that anyone who programs a network knows they’re sitting in a rented chair. “I’ve seen a lot of people who have come and go from these jobs and a lot of people who I really respect a lot, and everybody comes and goes for different reasons,” she said. “So unfortunately for us, it’s not that unusual.”

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