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Official: Jennifer Lopez Returning to 'American Idol' for Season 11

Fox confirms the singer-actress will return to the judges' table a week after producer Nigel Lythgoe teases her return to host Ryan Seacrest.

Jennifer Lopez
FOX
Jennifer Lopez

It’s official: Jennifer Lopez is returning to the judges’ table for Season 11 of American Idol.

Fox confirmed Wednesday what Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe teased to host Ryan Seacrest last week on his morning radio show: that Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler will all return for Season 11 of the reality hit.

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Seacrest tweeted the news just ahead of Fox's official announcement: "We are back...On idol set in Savannah Ga with all the judges! Jen steven and randy..It's like the first day off school!"

“Having both Jennifer and Steven return to Idol in 2012 alongside Randy is such a positive reflection on what was a wonderful and hugely successful season last year, and everyone is delighted,” Idol creator and executive producer Simon Fuller said in a statement announcing the news.

Added exec producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz: “I am very pleased to have our panel of judges back for the 11thseason of American Idol. Their chemistry and ability to select amazing talent made last season one of our most successful yet, and we look forward to going on another exciting ride.”

Lopez had been expected to return to the reality hit, produced by FremantleMedia North America, despite reports during the months-long negotiations in which she said she was unsure whether or not she would. Idol experts suggested Lopez could have been holding out for Simon Cowell-like money.

Noted Fox Broadcasting president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell: “From the very first day of auditions, we knew we had something special in our new judges panel, and we’re so happy that America felt that way, too. Together with Ryan – who is fantastic day in and day out – they built an incredible connection with both the contestants and our viewers, and I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome them all back to Idol for another season.”

Idol will premiere its 11th season on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. immediately following the NFC Championship game on Fox.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

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