With a dip in ratings, rumors emerged that Jennifer Lopez would be replacing Mariah Carey on American Idol mid-season as part of a plan to reboot the show. However, a source tells The Hollywood Reporter that this transition has since been abandoned after Carey's legal team threatened action.
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THR reports that Carey responded with a threat of litigation when she heard about the switch-out. With that, the plan was dropped, though Idol producers are still working with Lopez, who served as a judge during the past two seasons, to appear on the show's finale in May.
"This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale," a Fox spokeswoman tells THR in a statement. Show producer Nigel Lythgoe, adds: "I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season." Mariah's rep also tells ET this report is not true.
Carey joined the 12th season of American Idol this year as a celebrity judge along with Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban and mainstay, Randy Jackson. The same source tells THR that the entire judging panel is expected to be replaced and revamped next season.
American Idol kicked off its 12th season with a high 6.0 rating in its January return, but the Wednesday performance show is currently averaging a 4.3 rating, the worst performance since its inaugural season in 2001.