Fox confirms American Idol judges will all return, announces debut date

American Idol’s cast will remain unchanged for season 11, with Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson on the panel and Ryan Seacrest hosting.

Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said as much this past weekend, and the only real question was whether Jennifer Lopez would return, and if so, for how long. Since the announcement only says the panel is returning for season 11 in 2012, the negotiations presumably resulted in a one-year contract, meaning she can get more money and/or leave after season 11. Lots of media reports say she’s getting $20 million for next season, up from $12 million, but they tend to attribute that vaguely, and I can’t find a clear, attributed source of that information.

Anyway, Fox said that the new season will debut Jan. 22, a Sunday, following the NFC championship game; that’s two weeks before The Voice returns following the Super Bowl on NBC.

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