Lopez Returning to American Idol Next Season? Sources Say It’s Possible.

Jennifer Lopez is reportedly in talks to return to the American Idol judges’ table…

During Fox’s Television Critics Association presentation, the network’s entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly that the network has had discussions with the 44-year-old Puerto Rican singer-actress to return to the hit reality singing competition.

Jennifer Lopez

She’s “very close to signing a deal with Fox to return to American Idol next season,” a source tells People magazine. “Both Fox and Jennifer are very happy about this and want it to happen very much.”

In fact, the source added that the only reason she didn’t return last season was because she had committed to a world tour.

“But now that that tour is over, she has more time to raise her family, do movies and pursue television projects,” the source said.

Lopez served as a judge on American Idol for two installments, seasons 10 and 11.

When she didn’t return for season 12, Lopez was replaced by Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj in a season that saw a major ratings decline. But don’t expect a major overhaul next season.

” I think you can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is a top five show still… It needs some recalibration on some things and fresh new elements,” said Reilly, alluding that the days of infighting on the judging panel that culminated with the Carey-Minaj feud last season are gone.

“I just want to find chemistry that is comfortable and right for the show and not have that be an issue,” he said.

Jenner’s “Glee” Renewed for Two More Seasons

Blake Jenner has plenty of reason to be gleeful

The 20-year-old half-Cuban American actor and The Glee Project winner may not have to look for a new gig for awhile.

Blake Jenner

Fox has picked up its hit musical dramedy Glee, which features Jenner as Ryder Lynn, for two more seasons.

The negotiations for the series’ two-year renewal, for seasons five and six, took longer than normal because the network begins footing the bill after season four.

Glee debuted as the first and only successful musical comedy series on television, and more than four years later, it continues to defy genres, break new ground and have a significant impact on popular culture,” said Fox chairman Kevin Reilly.

Glee, which was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, has an off-network syndication deal with Oxygen, which makes a longer run attractive.

Despite a drop in its ratings, Glee still manages to perform respectably, especially when DVR viewing is factored in.

The dramedy is averaging 8.7 million total viewers this season. Glee, which marked its 500th performance recently, has spawned more than 53 million tracks digitally downloaded and more than 13 million albums sold worldwide.

No word yet on whether Jenner’s character will continue to appear on the show in upcoming seasons. Other Latino stars of the should who could be back for seasons five and six include Lea Michele, Naya Rivera and Sam Larsen.

Hayek & Horta Developing “Bastards” for ABC Studios…

Salma Hayek is reuniting with her Ugly Betty cohort Silvio Horta to develop a Latino-themed dramedy for primetime television.

ABC and ABC Studios have put in development Bastards, from the 46-year-old Mexican actress and producer, who served as Ugly Betty’s executive producer and Betty creator Horta, according to Deadline.com.

Salma Hayek

Bastards, written by Horta, centers on a lively Cuban-American family who has its lives turned upside down when it’s revealed that the family patriarch had a child with the family maid more than 25 years ago. Now his wife will do anything to protect her children’s inheritance and prevent her family’s deepest and darkest secrets from ever being revealed.

Bastards originated from an idea by Hayek. She and Jose Tamez, her producing partner at their ABC Studios-based Ventanarosa, had been trying to tackle the premise for awhile.

Horta, who is of Cuban- American descent, recently received a call from Tamez and a Mark Gordon Prods executive who was once Horta’s ABC executive on Ugly Betty.

“I immediately sparked to the concept — it was fun and juicy and had the opportunity for both a lot of salacious situations and humor as well as a lot of heart and emotions, hitting that sweet spot I like to write,” said Horta.

After some quick deal-making, the team sold the project to ABC. Back in 2005, others had taken a stab at adapting the popular telenovela Ugly Betty for American audiences before Horta, but his version stuck. “I hope history will repeat itself,” he quipped.

Last season, Horta wrote and executive produced another dramedy about a Latino family for Fox. The project, based on an idea by Fox entertainment topper Kevin Reilly and executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, centered on three sisters and their interlinked lives. While it didn’t get to pilot, Fox kept the project alive and put it in redevelopment. The process kept Horta, who is under an overall deal at Sony Television, busy, so he missed the broadcast selling season and was preparing cable pitches when he got the call on Bastards. He’s now focusing on the script, which is due in a month.

In addition to Bastards, Ventanarosa has The Cisco Kid, a re-imagining of the iconic Latino character, for CBS.


It’s Official! Carey to Serve as American Idol Judge Next Season

It looks like Mariah Carey will be having an Idoltastic year…

The 42-year-old part-Venezuelan American singer will be replacing Jennifer Lopez at the judges’ table on American Idol next season.

Mariah Carey

Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly announced Carey’s signing at a meeting of the Television Critics Association on Monday, and then put the pop diva on speaker phone to confirm the deal.

“I am so excited to be joining American Idol,” exclaimed Carey. “This kind of all just happened really quickly.”

As previously reported, Carey has been the leading contender to join the panel this summer, following Lopez and Steven Tyler’s exits from Idol. As one of the music industry’s best-selling singers, Carey is expected to bring the star power the show needs to compete with rivals like The X Factor, which recently added Demi Lovato and Britney Spears as judges.

Carey’s salary is expected to be somewhere above $12 million — the sum paid Jennifer Lopez during her first year on the show — and possibly as high as $17 million.

“It’s the biggest recording artist that any of these [singing competition] shows have ever had,” Reilly told critics at their press tour in Beverly Hills. “It’s an artist many of these contestants have tried to emulate. [The deal] only concluded only hours ago. Not being the only game in town we need to keep things fresh.”

Fox is now expected to focus on its search for another male judge. One dark horse candidate is former Idol contestant Adam Lambert.