'American Idol': Nigel Lythgoe Returns for Another Season (Report)
The "So You Think You Can Dance" judge resumes his role as executive producer on the Fox competition.
Nigel Lythgoe is returning to American Idol as executive producer following months of negotiations, E! News reports.
Although Idol has yet to confirm the news, Lythgoe would resume his backstage role on the Fox competition for the upcoming 12th season.
He has a lot on his plate: in a judge exodus this summer, both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler left the show after two years at the judges' table. Mariah Carey later signed on as a replacement -- but there's still vacancies alongside the over-the-top pop diva.
According to E! News, citing a source, season 12 is "way behind normal schedule" and Lythgoe's first order of business is to "lock in judges."
Among the names being bandied about: Keith Urban, Enrique Iglesias and Nicki Minaj, whose potential Idol gig is causing a war to brew between Pepsi, for which she's a celebrity spokesperson, and Coke, the franchise's longtime sponsor.
As THR previously reported, Fox and FremantleMedia execs' wish list for a four-member panel includes Minaj, Carey, a country star (the leading candidate is Urban, an insider said) and a Latin artist (Iglesias is believed to be the No. 1 choice).
As for stalwart Randy Jackson, a judge since the beginning and Carey's co-manager, he's staying put on the show, but his role could be diminished, as others have reported.
Lythgoe, meanwhile, continues to dabble in multiple projects: earlier this week, he announced he's reviving the 1980 music-themed MGM movie Fame for TV. He'll serve as an executive producer there too. The project, which has yet to hire a writer as well as a cast, will be produced under the new MGM TV group banner.