Jennifer Lopez likely next American Idol judge

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As we reported when it was just a rumor, Jennifer Lopez – JLo as most call her – has scored a $12 million American Idol judging role, replacing Kara DioGuardi. Looks like it is more than a rumor now, shy of a press release. Says Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke: “It was her manager Benny Medina (whom she once fired) who first orchestrated the meeting with the Idol producers in June, and, by the end of July, J-Lo accepted the offer to be a new Idol judge. Since then, she, Medina and her producing partner Simon Fields have been trying to milk the gig for all they could get from the movie studio and broadcast network/television programmer to further her stalled career in the film/TV area. One bargaining chip they had, I can report, is that Simon Cowell already asked JLo to be a judge on the U.S. version of his The X Factor when it debuts on Fox in Fall 2011. Among JLo’s demands, ‘she was angling for an overall deal at Fox, including a put picture, to keep the movie career going. But Fox said ‘no’.”


Fox-TV spokesperson Alex Gillespie tells RBR-TVBR the network had no comment, but would not deny the Deadline Hollywood story was true.

Also, said the story, team JLo was unhappy that the Idol producers never discussed ahead of time their decision to offer a judging job to Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. Though Team JLo kept threatening she’d bail if she didn’t get what she wanted, Fox called her bluff several times: “I’m told that JLo and Fields did receive the overall Fox deal but with no film/TV commitments. Medina and JLo tried to hold out for the $15M Idol paycheck but couldn’t get it and wound up settling for $12M…In the end, she didn’t turn up her nose up at $12 million.”

RBR-TVBR observation: So there we have the new trio (most likely, that is): Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. It should be an interesting mix. JLo may help with Hispanic numbers and she’s an accomplished musician like Tyler. So unlike Ellen DeGeneres, she will hopefully know what she’s talking about when critiquing the talent (or attempts at talent).


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.