The rumors are true: Former “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has returned to the show after a two-season absence, a source confirmed to Access Hollywood on Wednesday.
Nigel, who left “American Idol” in 2008 to produce and judge FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” reportedly signed a two-year deal to executive produce along with EPs Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, and creator Simon Fuller.
UPDATED, THURSDAY: While he may be returning to his “Idol” roots, Nigel made it clear Thursday that his loyalties lie with “So You Think You Can Dance” – the show which he created himself for FOX, and which has since been franchised out to other countries. He tweeted: “I will still so [sic] SYTYCD US. I will still do SYTYCD UK and I’ve been invited up to SYTYCD Canada as a guest. Dance is my passion.”
Who will sit at the “Idol” judges’ table still remains a mystery for next season, following the reported firing of Kara DioGuardi, and the exit of both Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell.
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, reports have swirled that Jennifer Lopez and rocker Steven Tyler would have a seat at the judge’s table next season, but FOX Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice announced on Monday that nothing is set in stone.
“There are no signed deals with anybody,” Rice told reporters at the Television Critics Association Summer Session in Beverly Hills on Monday. “There has been tremendous speculation.”
USA Today was first to break the news of Nigel’s return.