Reality producer Nigel Lythgoe is returning to executive produce Fox's "American Idol" after a two-year break -- and that could spell trouble for the current judges panel.

Fox is near a deal to bring back Lythgoe to work on the hit series as part of a master plan to reboot the show following the exit of top judge Simon Cowell.

In addition, "Idol" fans can add pop star Justin Timberlake to the list of potential Cowell replacements. Timberlake, along with Elton John, is being wooed by "Idol" producer 19 Entertainment chief Simon Fuller.