UPDATE: Associated Press is confirming that Jennifer Lopez “is close to signing a deal” with FOX.
Also, they are reporting that Ellen Degeneres had signed a 2 year deal with Idol, rather than a 5-year as had been widely reported.
FOX and Jennifer’s reps have yet to comment on the story.
This just in from Deadline Hollywood:
EXCLUSIVE: We’ve just learned the backstory of how Ellen DeGeneres bowed out of American Idol and who will be its new judge taking her place: Jennifer Lopez, who’s singing and acting career has been on the skids after her recent movies failed at the box office and she was dropped by her record company Sony. We hear her manager Benny Medina, whom she once fired, orchestrated the meeting with the American Idol producers a month ago, and negotiations have been ongoing ever since. We’ve learned a deal was closed earlier this week under the utmost secrecy. Still to be decided is who will replace Simon Cowell. Everyone associated with the show wants Elton john, but we hear he’s asking for too much money and has too many touring commitments he can’t get out of.
Ellen went to Idol execs two months ago. “She’s not comfortable. She’s not happy. It’s not been fun.”
But Rice and Darnell felt that with Cowell leaving, “We can’t let you out now because it would be bad for our franchise. Give us a chance to figure out who we could get.”
In the end, it all worked out. “Peter Rice is awesome” and “Ellen is thrilled and relieved.” DH says serious conversations took place between Idol and Jessica Simpson to replace Ellen. But “once Jennifer was locked in this week, the DeGeneres announcement went out.”
Also, Access Hollywood is reporting that rocker Steven Tyler has met with Idol execs “several times.”
Gossip Cop reports that Tyler has been offered a job along with JLo…
I vaguely remember Jennifer as mentor back in Season 6. She could not have been that memorable. Here’s my recap of Season 6 Top 8. Jennifer mentored the kids for “Latin Night”. I think she was nice and sweet enough, but not overwhelmingly helpful