Jenny from the Block is taking Ellen's spot on "American Idol," and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler could be the next to join the talent show's panel of judges.
Jennifer Lopez's appointment came hot on the heels of the announcement that Ellen DeGenereswould not return for a second season, and even as the show's producers continued their high-profile search for a replacement for Simon Cowell. That chair could go to Tyler, reported Us Weekly, which also reported that Kara DioGuardi was canned and the show will move to a three-judge format.
An official announcement from Fox, which carries the highly-rated show, is expected Monday.
The multifaceted J-Lo, a chart-topping solo artist and actress, has previous experience with "Idol," having served as a mentor on the show's Latin night back in season six.
The news of her signing, first reported by Deadline Hollywood, leaked mere hours after DeGeneres released a statement detailing her reasons for leaving the show.
"A couple months ago, I let Fox and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” she wrote. “I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next."
She called the decision "difficult" and cited a heavy workload as a contributing factor. However, she also mentioned that she wasn't entirely comfortable with the power that accompanied her position.
"I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings," she said.
“We love Ellen and understand and support her decision to bow out of Idol," Peter Rice, chairman of Fox entertainment, told People in a statement. "We were fortunate to receive the humor, energy and love for talent that she brought to the show.”
In the meantime, the list of possible replacements is a virtual who's who of musicians, producers and reality stars. Diddy, Jessica Simpson, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Donald Trump, Brett Michaels, Harry Connick, Jr., and Courtney Love have all been attached to the show at one time or another.
With Fox set to announce its fall lineup next week, the pressure remains to fill the final slot. "Idol's" ratings suffered a hit last season, so landing another high-profile judge is a paramount concern for network executives.
To that end, Fox brought back former "Idol" executive Nigel Lythgoe to overhaul the show. Among his possible prescriptions?
Ditching all of the current judges.
"I would replace the entire judging panel," he said in an interview with E! Online. "I don't think it really works replacing one person."
The show has two remaining judges under contract. Randy Jackson has one year remaining on his current deal and Kara DioGuardi has a year-to-year contract that has yet to be renewed.