It’s Official: Connick, Lopez, Jackson on Board for ‘Idol XIII’

No more 'Idol' rumors: It's official -- Keith Urban (top left), Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. (bottom left) are this season's "American Idol" judges. Randy Jackson returns in a mentor role (Photos: Getty Images)

Fox finally put an end to all the speculation that arose every few days all summer about the lineup of judges for this season’s 13th edition of “American Idol.”

On Tuesday morning, the network officially announced the hiring of Harry Connick Jr. as a new judge and confirmed that Jennifer Lopez will return to the show after sitting out last season.

The Connick hiring was widely reported over the weekend, with no confirmation from Fox.

The Lopez rehiring had been widely reported all summer — still with no official word from the network.

The only judge confirmed earlier this summer was Keith Urban, who is returning to the show. Also newly confirmed on Tuesday: The status of original “Idol” judge Randy Jackson, who announced last spring he was leaving the show, but is now returning as a mentor, Fox said.

As always, Ryan Seacrest returns as host — though his status has never been in doubt.

One reason the announcement came on Tuesday: That’s the day auditions for the 13th season of “American Idol” were scheduled to kick off in Boston, so the show’s lineup of judges and personalities had to be in place by then.

The new season will premiere in January.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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