UPDATE: It’s officially official. Fox announced Wednesday that negotiations are complete and Jennifer Lopez will be returning to “American Idol” for the upcoming 11th season, alongside fellow judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson.
“I am very pleased to have our panel of judges back for the 11th season of ‘American Idol’,” said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “Their chemistry and ability to select amazing talent made last season one of our most successful yet, and we look forward to going on another exciting ride.”
The new season of “Idol” will kick off Sunday, Jan. 22, following the NFC Championship Game.
“American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has confirmed that Jennifer Lopez will return as a judge on the reality juggernaut when Season 11 premieres in January.
“I am delighted to say that all three judges, along with the brilliant host of ‘American Idol,’ [are] back for the next season,” Lythgoe said in an interview on ‘On Air with Ryan Seacrest.’
Since Season 10 ended in May, Lopez’s “Idol” future has remained a mystery. Earlier in the year, she told the BBC she was “on the fence” about coming back (unlike her fellow new judge Steven Tyler, Lopez had only signed a one-year contract). “I had an amazing time doing it and I loved it, but I have a lot of other things happening, and it’s going to come down to making a choice of really what I want to do for the next year,” she said. “We’re not really at the breaking point of ‘You have to make a decision right now!’ So I’m not. I’m really enjoying the time of just waiting — and seeing.”
According to The Wrap, sources quoted Lopez’s current deal at $20 million. That number is up considerably from the reported $12 she made last season.
“American Idol” Season 11 premieres in Jan. 2012 on Fox.