Jennifer Lopez Return as 'American Idol' Judge Imminent, Reports Say

Tuesday, 06 Aug 2013 06:45 PM

By David Ogul

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Jennifer Lopez is close to a deal that would seal her return to a judge's seat on "American Idol," according to media reports.

Deadline.com said an announcement could come in the next week or two, adding that Lopez could pull in a haul similar to the reported $15 million she was paid when she last served as a judge.

A source close to Lopez also told People magazine that a deal is nearly done.

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“Both Fox and Jennifer are very happy about this and want it to happen very much,” the source said.

The person added that there is no basis for the rumors alleging Lopez was passed over for a seat on NBC’s The Voice.

“Jennifer never had discussions with NBC about being a judge,” People reported the source said. “She was approached by NBC about performing but had to turn it down because of scheduling conflicts.”

E! online, meanwhile, reported that country superstar Keith Urban will be returning for another season on the show next January. Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson are said to be leaving.

Fox network President Kevin Reilly confirmed that producers are in discussion with Lopez, but wouldn’t offer any additional details.

“I will confirm one thing: that Keith is going to return to the show,” E! reported Reilly as saying. “Keith did a great job last year, the fans really liked him. With a new panel you are going to see that Keith is really a funny guy.”

Regarding Lopez, Reilly said, “Jennifer has been a close part of the show all along … there have been discussions there. There is no deal with her or anyone else.”

Fox News says that "American Idol" producers also are rumored to be keying in on Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am for a judge's spot.

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Related stories:

'American Idol' Sued By 10 Black Contestants for Arrest Checks

Ruben Studdard: 'American Idol' Star Taking On 'The Biggest Loser'

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