Is Jennifer Lopez going to be American Idol's newest judge? Depends on whom you ask.
Fox? Suddenly allergic to returning calls. Show producer Fremantle? No comment. J.Lo herself? Quiet as a church mouse. The rest of the English-speaking world? That'd be a big old "yeah, no s--t."
Sources confirm to E! News that the casting is true, but while no one official has spoken—at least not on the record—about the presumptive newest addition to the suddenly 100 percent more divalicious panel, that hasn't stopped the wave of speculation from rolling in about Lopez's new gig. Starting with her salary.
On this, at least, there seems to be a consensus: according to every report out there (which, claims of so-called exclusivity be damned, all seem to have spawned from Deadline.com), Lopez will be pocketing a cool $12 million for the gig.
And, like Ellen DeGeneres before her, Lopez has signed on for just one season.
So where does that rank her? And, more importantly, is she worth it?
Well, Paula Abdul will be happy to know that it's less than the $15 million a year paycheck she was reportedly denied by Idol bosses. It also works out to less than the $45 million our own Ryan Seacrest signed on to take home over a three-year period.
Ellen's pay, while no doubt exorbitant, was never disclosed, so there's nothing to compare there, but J.Lo's eight-figure payday looks like mere pocket change compared to what Simon Cowell, the man she's supposedly replacing, was earning for his caustic contributions to the show: his last season alone earned him a staggering $45 million. And it's positively poverty-line earnings compared to the $100 million minimum Howard Stern was willing to settle for.
Though, if the reports are to be believed, she should be more than happy with what she got.
According to Deadline, the initial deal between Lopez and Idol producers fell apart after J. Lo's demands got a bit out of hand. Shocking, right? She reportedly wanted a one-movie deal with Fox studios thrown in as a bit of a contract sweetener, but much like her movie career itself, that soured.
She was also reportedly trying to hold out for $15 million a year to put her on par with Seacrest, but Fox reportedly balked at that as well.
As for where things stand now, while Steven Tyler also is locked in, it's unclear if this year's panel will be three- or four-strong. As far as Fox's publicity department is concerned, right now it's just Randy Jackson and his dawg pound flying the flag for pitchiness all on his own.
But they better put a statement together and quick. The next audition round, presumably with the locked-in judges panel, is scheduled to begin filming in just two weeks' time.
Welcome to the block, Jenny.
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