Was 'Idol' eyeing J. Lo to replace Mariah Carey?

CNN
Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 8:34am

Simon Cowell's "The X Factor" might not be the only Fox singing competition headed for another season of change.

The Hollywood Reporter heard whispers from sources in the know that the network's "American Idol" was considering swapping new judge Mariah Carey for former judge Jennifer Lopez.

Lopez departed the competition along with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler in 2012 after two seasons aboard the series, but THR notes that she did cultivate a solid fan following.

The hope, the sources said, was that another panel shake-up could stem "Idol's" low ratings this season. Last week, the veteran reality show was beat by a repeat of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory."

"Idol," which now features Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and mainstay Randy Jackson, was watched by 11.9 million on Thursday, with a 2.9 rating in the adult 18-49 demo. Over on CBS, the "BBT" repeat at 8 p.m. had the larger rating, with a 3.0 in the 18-49 audience and 11.2 million tuning in. An episode at 9 p.m. had a 3.2 rating in that demographic and 10.8 million watching.

However, a rep for the Fox show told CNN and THR that any word of a plan to replace Carey with Lopez "is just another ridiculous 'Idol' judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer [Lopez] performing on the finale."

Carey's team similarly denied the gossip to the magazine, and producer Nigel Lythgoe said that he hasn't been "included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season."

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