Just hours after Fox announced that Ellen DeGeneres would be leaving American Idol, a successor has already been reported: Jennifer Lopez, according to Nikki Finke’s Deadline. Negotiations have apparently been going on for a month between Idol producers and Lopez’s manager Benny Medina, according to the site. Producers were also reportedly talking to Jessica Simpson about replacing the host-turned-judge—and according to Gossip Cop, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith was also in the running. DeGeneres’ departure comes a year before her contract is set to expire—the decision is thought to be mutual, according to Variety, which broke the story of her departure, as she was criticized frequently during the season. “It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for,” DeGeneres said. “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.” Fox also recently announced that Nigel Lythgoe, Idol's former showrunner, would return to the show next season.
Shake-Up Matt Sayles / AP Photo