Idol looking for a “Less Callous and Cynical” Judges Panel, Announcements about Judges and Nigel Lythgoe to Be Made Monday

2nd Update: Now, Zap2it is reporting that Jennifer Lopez is “Signed Sealed and Delivered, but Steven Tyler is still in negotiations. Tyler is Idol’s first choice, but if a deal can’t be reached, Harry Connick Jr. is their second choice.

There still could be an announcement on Monday, depending on how the weekend goes.

Update: THR is reporting that there will be no announcements at Monday’s TCA press hour, because NO DEALS ARE SIGNED YET. Read more HERE.

The LA Times reports that Jennifer Lopez’s deal is one of the hold-ups.  Her people want to sweeten the pot with side deals, and Jennifer herself wants to gauge the public’s reaction to the idea before she commits.  The Daily Beast reports her deal to be around 10 million dollars.


The Hollywood Reporter is confirming through sources that the brand-new judges panel will consist of Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson.

They also report that “further tweaks are coming to other aspects of the show over the coming weeks.”

One goal behind assembling the new panel is to find a mix that would be less “callous and cynical” than during Cowell’s tenure — not less critical of contestants, necessarily, but a warmer and more positive atmosphere among the judges panel, both on and off camera, a vibe more reminiscent of the early years of the show.

FOX isn’t confirming or denying any media reports about Idol, because they are hoping to make a splashy presentation at the TCA press tour on Monday.  Also, deals are still being worked out behind the scenes.

“It’s a mess, ” said one source. “There’s a million cooks in the kitchen, it’s truly complete chaos.”

Fox hopes to have at least one of the new judges–preferably all of them–on stage Monday for the press tour.  FOX will also announce that Nigel Lythgoe is returning as executive producer.

THR also reports that Idol execs “begged” Ellen Degeneres to stick around.  Ellen announced yesterday that she would not be returning to Idol next year.

“They said, `We’re re-tooling the show around you, we’ll hire [her friend] Elton. We’ll get judges you want.’ She said, ‘All right, I’ll roll with you guys.’ She was trying to be a good soldier and not bail out. They begged her not to bail up until two or three days ago.”

Finally, THR reports that even though Elton John’s peeps have vehemently denied he has interest in being on Idol, Idol execs have never stopped trying to lure him, but a source says, “They think they can get Elton John … [but he] always seems to need money.”

So I don’t know…I’m not sold on JLo and Steven Tyler as judges. What about you? And it looks like the producers are taking a hard look at the chemistry between members of the panel. Now THAT’s a good thing.

About mj santilli 33187 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!