Keith Urban will return to the American Idol judging panel. The show will start its 13th season with a new (well returning) set of judges and will, possibly, have a new format. Fox entertainment Chief Kevin Reilly told the press on Thursday (1st August) at the Television Critics Association press tour that Urban would definitely be returning to judge.
Keith Urban at the 2012 American Idol Finale Results Show Live at the Nokia Theater in L.A.
On Urban's return, Reilly said "the fans really like him." He continued to compliment Urban by saying "Keith is a really funny guy."
Reilly would not confirm Jennifer Lopez's involvement but claimed that "there have been discussions but there is no deal". It seems, according to The Hollywood Reporter, talks have stored due to disagreements over money.
At the panel it appeared Fox's major concern was with 'tinkering' with the show in order to improve ratings (which have dropped over the last two seasons). In order to do so Reilly promises to "refocus the show on the contestants." The choice of judges is important to the show as "it really became too much about the judges." Reilly hopes, by carefully selecting the judges, if the judging panel are "comfortable", American Idol will be "comfortable to view."
Both Urban and Lopez have previously judged on the show. Lopez left the show in 2012 after two seasons whilst Urban began his role the season following Lopez's departure.
Other possibilities for judging positions are Jennifer Hudson, Will.i.am and Dr. Luke. Jennifer Hudson is believed to be finalising a deal with show, although this was not confirmed by Reilly.
Jennifer Lopez at the 2011 American Idol Finale Results Show Live at the Nokia Theater in L.A.
Jennifer Hudson at the 2013 Do Something Awards held at The Avalon in L.A.