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Producer Confirms Jennifer Lopez Returning to 'American Idol'

Producer Nigel Lythgoe says during Ryan Seacrest's radio show that the singer-actress will return to the reality hit next season as a judge.

Jennifer Lopez
Mark Davis/FOX
Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez is returning to American Idol.

Idol producer  Nigel Lythgoe let the cat out of the bag Wednesday during Ryan Seacrest's morning radio show that the singer-actress will return to the judges’ table alongside mainstay Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler.

"I believe we’re still waiting for the official announcements but I am delighted to say that all three judges, along with the brilliant host of American Idol, is back for the next season,” Lythgoe said Wednesday.

Official confirmation from Fox on her contract, however, has not been revealed. Lopez has been rumored to be commanding a bump in salary; she collected $12 million last year for joining Idol’s 10th season and is said to want a salary closer to Simon Cowell’s $35 million a year.

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Meanwhile, host Ryan Seacrest’s three-year $45 million contract is up at the end of next season, leaving many in the industry to speculate whether he will re-up as well.

Jackson and Tyler both inked multiyear deals and have already been locked in for Season 11, which bows in January.

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 Cowell-like money.

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Lopez, who joined Idol last year after a judges’ shake-up that saw Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres and Kara Dioguardi exit the show, also is working with estranged husband Marc Anthony and Simon Fuller’s XIX and Endemol to produce music talent show Q’Viva! The show is set to begin shooting in the fall despite the couple’s recent break-up.

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