FOX has debunked report that it attempted to replace Mariah Carey with Jennifer Lopez on "American Idol" mid-season in a bid to save the show from ratings decline. A spokeswoman for the network says, "This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale."
A representative for Carey also denies the rumor, while the show's producer Nigel Lythgoe tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season." Fremantle NorthAmerica, which produces the singing competition show, refuses to comment on the issue.
THR earlier learned from sources that "Idol" producers and FOX executives wanted to bring back J.Lo in the middle of its current 12th season as the show's ratings continue dropping. They allegedly dropped the plan as Carey's team responded with a threat of litigation.
Now "Idol" producers are reportedly in negotiations with J.Lo to have her perform in the show's season finale in May. The "If You Had My Love" songstress served as a judge on the show's season 10 and 11 alongside Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson.
Rumor has it, "Idol" has begun a search to replace Carey, and possibly the entire judge's panel, including another new addition Nicki Minaj, for next season.