American Idol producers are working on a deal to have Jennifer Lopez return as a judge next season, Deadline.com reports. The network will pay the Bronx-born beauty around $15 million for a single season on the judging panel.
If the rumors are true, Lopez would appear alongside Keith Urban and host Ryan Seacrest. Will.i.am is in line for the third open seat. The Black Eyed Peas frontman has previously appeared on Idol as a mentor.
Urban was one of three judges, along with Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, tapped to lead season 12. Rather than a ratings bonanza, however, the trio of music powerhouses made for a significant drop in viewership. This, despite a highly publicized rift between Carey and Minaj. The dualing divas never quite patched things up and announced their respective departures on the same day, weeks after veteran Idol judge Randy Jackson announced his as well.
Lopez has been a hit for Fox. She joined in 2011 with Aerosmith's Stephen Tyler and was rumored to be returning midway through last season.
Sitting on the panel has been beneficial for the 44-year-old as well. In 2012, Lopez topped Forbes' list of most powerful celebrities and she has found new footing in the music world. Her "On the Floor" video earned over half a billion page views on YouTube, the third most in the site's history. And she's since embarked on a world tour, released a movie, launched the NUVO network and is prepping a new album.
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