August 02, 2013 01:41:33 GMT
FOX entertainment chief Kevin Reilly says Urban has signed up for season 13 of 'Idol' and there have been discussions with J.Lo to have her back as a judge as well.
At least one familiar face is staying on "American Idol". Keith Urban, who was on the judging panel along with Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson last season, has been confirmed to return to the 13th season.
"I will confirm one thing: That Keith is going to return to the show," said FOX entertainment chief Kevin Reilly at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday, August 1. "Keith did a great job last year, the fans really liked him. With a new panel, you are going to see that Keith is a really funny guy."
Reilly also confirmed reports that Jennifer Lopez had been offered to return as a judge on the show. "Jennifer has been a close part of the show all along...there have been discussions there," he told reporters, but noted, "There is no deal with her or anyone else."
As for rumors which mentioned Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken as potential judges, Reilly remained mum on it. "I can't talk too much about it because we have to continue our yearly tradition of me not being able to say anything about the show," he said, assuring that they're looking for judges "that are good at the job, that people like and that refocus the attention on the contestants."
"It really became too much about the judges. We want some comfortable judges to make it comfortable to view," he continued, hinting that there would be changes in the format for the next cycle. "[We] will tinker with the format."
Following Carey, Minaj and Jackson's departures, there have been speculations on who will replace them. J.Lo emerges as a potential candidate after she was reported being wanted to return in mid-season 12.
While Reilly stressed nothing had been set in stone about J.Lo's return, a source close to the Latin star tells PEOPLE that she is "very close to signing a deal with FOX to return to 'American Idol' next season," and that "both FOX and Jennifer are very happy about this and want it to happen very much."
On why the "On the Floor" hitmaker wants to return, the source explains, "She couldn't return last year because she had committed to a world tour. But now that the tour is over, she has more time to raise her family, do movies and pursue television projects."
The source also clarifies recent rumors that J.Lo was rejected by "The Voice" as a judge and a performer. "Jennifer never had discussions with NBC about being a judge. She was approached by NBC about performing but had to turn it down because of scheduling conflicts," the source claims.