Even more diva wars behind the scenes of American Idol. A new report claims that the Fox reality competition's producers recently mulled a drastic attempt to boost its flagging ratings: Bring back departed judge Jennifer Lopez mid-season to replace none other than Mariah Carey.
Citing sources, The Hollywood Reporter says that Idol producers, along with Fox executives, began negotiations with Lopez, a fan-favorite judge during seasons 10 and 11, to join the show asap. But Carey soon got wind of the plot and allegedly threatened to sue, THR reports. The site goes on to say that producers still hope to bring Lopez on for the season finale and May -- and that Carey, fellow newbie Nicki Minaj and possibly the entire panel (also including newcomer Keith Urban and veteran Randy Jackson) could be axed before the thirteenth season.
Reps for Fox and Carey both denied THR's report. Show producer Nigel Lythgoe told THR: "I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season."
Although much was made of superstar additions Carey and Minaj -- and their intense, catty bickering on the panel -- the show's ratings continue to plummet, with its Wednesday performance show suffering its worst numbers since the series began in 2001.
A show source also tells THR that possible replacements include a music professional, "not necessarily a star" to join the panel next year.
Tell Us: Should Idol get yet another judge reboot?