Ellen DeGeneres Quits ‘American Idol’ – Jennifer Lopez In?

by | July 29, 2010 at 7:03 PM | American Idol, RealityTV, Show & Tell, TV News

Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Lopez (Fox/Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Lopez (Fox/Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Another ‘Idol’ shocker rocks Fox!

Ellen DeGeneres is leaving ‘American Idol,’ it was announced Thursday. And possibly replacing her? Jenny from the Block aka Jennifer Lopez.

DeGeneres, who replaced Paula Abdul last season as the fourth judge, admitted she wasn’t a good “fit” for the singing competition and has decided she won’t return for Season 10 when it premieres in January.

In a statement issued by Fox, DeGeneres explained her decision to bow out:

“A couple months ago, I let Fox and the ‘American Idol’ producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” said DeGeneres. “I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on ‘Idol’ and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”

Fox’s missive had barely hit email in-boxes when Deadline.com reported that earlier this week J.Lo had reportedly – and very quietly – inked a deal to replace Ellen. With that pact made, the path was cleared for DeGeneres’ departure to be announced.

Gossip Cop meanwhile hears that Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler also might claim a chair at the judges’ table.

Fox is in lockdown mode beyond confirming DeGeneres’ exit.

The troubled ‘Idol’ is said to be undergoing “a massive overhaul,” which includes the reported return of former producer Nigel Lythgoe (‘So You Think You Can Dance‘). There are rumors that Kara DioGuardi, who, like Ellen, got a mixed reception from fans, may also be out, according to Variety.

Simon Cowell’s Replacement to Be Named Soon?

“We love Ellen and understand and support her decision to bow out of ‘Idol,’” said Peter Rice, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Networks Group. “We were fortunate to receive the humor, energy and love for talent that she brought to the show.”

DeGeneres, who originally signed a two-year contract, was widely considered a lackluster addition to the judges panel–and when you’re sitting next to Randy Jackson, that’s saying something, dawg.

Are you surprised Ellen DeGeneres is quitting ‘American Idol’? Is she doing the right thing? Who would you like to see on the revamped judges’ panel? What do you think all these changes mean for the show?