By Tim Kenneally
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – Fear not, Jennifer Lopez fans: the singer is returning to “American Idol” to judge for at least another year, TheWrap has learned through two individuals familiar with the deal.
The pop star will be returning to the television singing competition with a contract with the Fox Broadcasting Network that’s “a smidge over” $20 million, according to one of the individual.
Both insiders said the deal is complete but has not yet been signed
The $20 million was apparently the base minimum for Lopez, and after tough negotiations with Fox, ended up just above that number
It’s a considerable raise from the $12 million she reportedly raked in for handling judge duties last season.
The only hurdle left to be cleared in the deal, according to one of the individuals, is scheduling. Lopez will be working on two major productions — the romantic dramedy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” which is slated for a May 2012 release, and the thriller “Parker,” currently in pre-production — which will most likely necessitate a shift in audition dates for the upcoming season.
Lopez, whose gig with the revamped reality series began last January, told the BBC earlier this year that she was “on the fence” about returning for another season. Unlike her fellow new “Idol” judge, Aerosmith warbler Steven Tyler, Lopez only signed up for a year.
“I had an amazing time doing it and I loved it, but I have a lot of other things happening, and it’s going to come down to making a choice of really what I want to do for the next year,” Lopez said. “We’re not really at the breaking point of ‘You have to make a decision right now!’ So I’m not. I’m really enjoying the time of just waiting — and seeing.”
TheWrap has also confirmed that Lopez plans to continue with the talent-search series “Q’Viva!” The series will feature Lopez and her now-estranged husband Marc Anthony scouring Latin America for the hottest vocal talent in the region. The series is co-created and co-executive-produced by Lopez, Anthony, “American Idol” producer Simon Fuller and Jamie King.
Fox, which airs “Idol” and a representative for Lopez had no comment for TheWrap on this story.