Let’s be honest. Ratings for Fox’s mega competition show have not been what they used to be. American Idol has been slipping in the ratings, likely due to a mix of genre over saturation and maybe even the talent pool. According to sources close to the show, THR was told that Mariah Carey might have been replaced by Jennifer Lopez mid-season!
Before the season and even during the audition rounds, it appeared Carey was quite a snag for the Idol team. However, as ratings slipped and online chatter showed a lot of distaste for Carey on the panel, it appears the powers that be at Fox started scrambling to solve a problem. Producer Nigel Lythgoe took to Twitter recently to absolve any involvement in putting together the current panel, claiming the Fox network was actually behind the tooling of the panel. Lythgoe also told THR that he hasn’t been “included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season.”
As word of this plan spread on the Idol front, reports claim that Carey’s camp threatened litigation, which may have put an end to the negotiations with Lopez. However, it seems negotiations with Lopez are still underway to at least have Lopez appear on the show’s finale set for May 15 & 16. Jennifer Lopez has been seen as the popular and fan favorite judge for the two seasons she participated with the show.
Rumors claimed the heads at Fox and Idol’s production company thought a panel shake-up mid season would put some life into the show’s ratings. As much as Minaj might seem engaged and into her role, sources state that she is not appealing to the typical audience of the show – older Midwestern, Southern women, who may be “threatened by Minaj’s aggressiveness.”
Furthermore, insiders claim that a search has already been put forth to replace the entire panel for next season (yes, maybe even Randy). Reps for Fox and Fremantle media have not commented.
This season has not been kind to Idol. The Wednesday performance show is averaging ratings giving Idol its worst ratings since its start back in 2001. NBC’s The Voice is probably not helping its cause, claiming the #1 singing show in America title this week in their first season going head to head. Fresh results episodes are even having a hard time standing ground against repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS. Don’t get us wrong. The ratings Idol is receiving on its low days are still ratings many networks would kill for many of their primetime fare. But for Idol, this spells trouble.