'American Idol' to replace Mariah with J.Lo?

MANILA, Philippines - In order to boost dwindling ratings, “American Idol” producers reportedly attempted to replace current judge Mariah Carey with former judge Jennifer Lopez, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The rumored plan was apparently hindered by Carey’s threat of litigation. However, sources say producers remain in contact with Lopez, urging her to appear on the show’s finale in May. Replacing Carey’s fellow judge Nicki Minaj as well as dropping the current panel of judges next season are also said to have been options.

Reports say the decision was sparked by Carey’s inability to engage the audience unlike Lopez who gained quite a following in the previous two seasons. Minaj is also said to not have been a hit with the show's audience.

Producers deny this rumor, claiming, "This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale," says a Fox spokeswoman. Carey’s representatives also refute this allegation.

"I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season," “American Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe reacts.

Rumors about the plan may be false, but claims regarding the shows declining ratings are unfortunately true. The show’s 12th season earned a 6.0 rating at its onset with a total of 17.9 million views. Subsequent episodes, however, failed to maintain the numbers, as the show is currently averaging a 4.3 rating.

Competition has also been unkind to the show with “The Voice” climbing to a 5.2 rating during the same week “Idol” reached an all-time low of 2.8. Even a rerun of television show “The Big Bang Theory” beat an “Idol” results show. - With reports from Ira Agting/Rappler.com