American Idol

Report: J.Lo nears deal for next season of 'Idol'

July 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM ET

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters /

It looks like the will-she-or-won’t-she guesswork surrounding Jennifer Lopez’s return to “American Idol” is almost over. While the performer-turned-TV-talent-judge remains tight-lipped about her plans, a new report reveals that she's close to closing a deal.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog, sources aware of the negotiations state Lopez is expected to sign on for at least one more season of the hit show very soon.

The Journal contacted Cécile Frot-Coutaz, the CEO of the company that produces “Idol,” FreemantleMedia North America, but she didn’t directly respond to the insiders claims. Instead, Frot-Coutaz offered a vaguely optimistic statement.

“We’re in good shape,” she said. “No worries. No dark clouds on the horizon.”

But if everything is so sunny, why have negotiations between Lopez and the “Idol” powers-that-be taken this long?  Not surprisingly, the answer might just be money.

A recent item from the Hollywood Reporter speculated that Lopez could be holding out for a Simon Cowell-like payday. Last season, she was said to walk away with $12 million, but she’d need another $23 million to come close to Cowell’s top earnings.

Are you looking forward to J.Lo’s return to “Idol”? Do you think she’s worth the big bucks? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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