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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 12

Nigel Lythgoe to reportedly return as 'American Idol' executive producer

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/31/2012 

Nigel Lythgoe has reportedly reached a deal to return to American Idol as an executive producer next season.

Lythgoe's return has been up in the air for awhile, as he had been in negotiations with the show for months, E! News reported.

Because the producer was in talks for so long, a source told E! News that production is "way behind normal schedule," so Lythgoe will be looking to "lock in the judges" immediately.

Lythgoe's reprised role on American Idol is seemingly contrary to the show's obvious recent motto of "out with the old and in with the new." Idol has reportedly decided to revamp its entire judging panel for its twelfth season following the confirmed departures of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, starting with the addition of new judge Mariah Carey. 

According to a TMZ report, judge Randy Jackson will also not be returning to the judging panel -- which is expected to feature four celebrities rather than the usual three. However, Idol has reportedly offered Jackson a mentoring position since producers consider him "the glue" that holds everything together.

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