'American Idol's former boss thinks it is "too soon" to bring back the show.

Nigel Lythgoe

Nigel Lythgoe

The talent contest drew to a close after 15 years on Fox in May 2016, but there have been recent reports the star-search show will be returning on rival network ABC, much to the bemusement of the programme's former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe - who worked on 'Idol' from 2002 to 2008 and 2010 to 2016 - who thinks it should stay away from screens until demand is there.

He told Variety: "They got their wish, but it feels a little too soon to bring it back."

Nigel still "loves the show" but believes an axed or retired show should only make a return "when there is public demand that it come back."

However, if 'Idol' does return to screens, Nigel will be delighted and thinks ABC would be a good home as it has form for "looking after its shows, like 'Dancing With the Stars'."

He added: "I'm delighted for them if they bring it back, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again. Hopefully they find some new angles for 'Idol.' "

But the TV executive admitted he hasn't been approached by stakeholders Fremantle and Core Media to be a part of any reboot.

Nigel admits one of the reasons why Fox let go of the show was the high costs of location shooting - including filming in various cities for auditions, as well as the hometowns of the judges - and the salaries of the star-studded panel and so thinks a new network could keep budgets down with a "short run" or produce the show in-house.

If 'Idol' does move to ABC, Simon Cowell will not be able to return to the show if the deal goes ahead, as he has an exclusivity deal with NBC, which makes his 'America's Got Talent' series.

However, original winner Kelly Clarkson has been tipped to head up the judging panel in his place.