After 11 seasons of “So You Think You Can Dance,” Fox has opted not to renew its contract with Mary Murphy. The reality competition judge issued a statement on Monday announcing the network had decided against bringing her back for Season 12, which begins in May.
“I’m saddened of course to be released from my contract,” she said in the statement obtained by TheWrap. “I’m very grateful and proud to have been part of such an extraordinary television show.”
As TheWrap previously reported, “So You Think You Can Dance” was given a 12th cycle on Nov. 17 despite poor ratings that were punctuated by the Season 11 finale on Sept. 4 with a 1.3 rating, marking a new finale low.
Fox issued a statement regarding the departure of Murphy and the new direction of its competitive dancing series, which read: “Mary has been a huge part of ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ from mentoring the dancers as a choreographer to inspiring fans as a judge. She will always be part of our ‘Dance’ family and we wish her continued success.”
Murphy, who fans affectionately refer to as the “Hot Tamale Train,” sat alongside Nigel Lythgoe for most of her 11 years on the Emmy-nominated Fox series. She specifically thanked him for his support.
“Thank you to the dancers and choreographers who inspired and enriched my life every week; to the crew and producers, especially James Breen, Jeff Thacker, and Nigel Lythgoe, I thank you for believing in me,” Murphy continued. “And thank you to my fans,as you always put a smile on my face when I encountered you. It has been a great pleasure and honor to be part of the dance wave that went global.”
“SYTYCD” was created by Simon Fuller and Lythgoe. They both serve as executive producers with Allen Shapiro, Barry Adelman, James Breen, and Jeff Thacker.
“So You Think You Can Dance” returns to Fox on Wednesday, May 28 at 8 p.m.