Photo Credit: FOX
Looks like FOX's American Idol will have its judging team -- all three of them -- back at the table next season for the show's January 2012 premiere.
As of late June, we couldn't be sure we'd see more of the trio that managed to revive the series in season 10. Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson were locked in, but Jennifer Lopez wasn't committing.
If Lopez is indeed returning, that'll be a huge load off for FOX and somewhat of a turnaround for Lopez, who admitted she was "very on the fence" about signing up for season 11.
"I had an amazing time doing it and I loved it, but I have a lot of other things happening," J.Lo told BBC 1 Radio in mid-June. "It's going to come down to me making a choice of what I want to do for the next year. And we're not really at the breaking point of, 'You have to make a decision right now!' I'm just really enjoying the time of just waiting and seeing."
That led skeptics to wonder whether J.Lo was simply holding out for more money. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lopez earned around $12 million for season 10. Had her price gone up? After all, Simon Cowell earned nearly three times that much near the end of his run.
Of course, Lopez has also seen her star rise anew thanks to her Idol involvement. Since beginning her tenure as judge, J.Lo has been named People's Most Beautiful Person 2011, landed a couple of big movie roles (including one in What to Expect When You're Expecting), scored a No. 1 hit song with "On the Floor" and put the wheels in motion on her own reality competition show. Oh yeah, and she's a mom. So it's not too tough to believe that Lopez was merely afraid of spreading herself too thin.
Either way, it appears that fans fearing another shakeup at the American Idol judges table can breathe a sigh of relief.