Jennifer Lopez is leaving 'American Idol,' rep confirms
Jennifer Lopez's rep says the singer and actress is leaving "American Idol," a day after her co-judge Steven Tyler said he will depart the singing contest series, in what marks the second major casting shakeup seen since the show's debut 10 years ago and made amid declining ratings.
The FOX network, which airs the show, which is still the most popular one on television, declined to comment about Lopez's future. The Associated Press quoted her rep as saying that Lopez is ending her time on the series.
Lopez discussed the matter on program host Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show on Friday, July 13. His official website stated that Lopez "will be leaving "American Idol."
"You know, I really was dreading this phone call with you," Lopez said.
"You're breaking up with me," Seacrest replied.
"I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do that I've put kind of on hold because I love 'Idol' so much," she said. "It just feels like we had an amazing run. adding: "It's just really going to be hard to go.
She said she discussed the matter extensively with her manager and that the matter was not about "playing any games" "or wanting more money."
"It was just being smart about making a business decision and I had to really be responsible in that moment," she said, citing her films, movies, business ventures and children. "You don't want to close the door completely but you know the time has come."
Lopez said she would be open to making guest appearances on "American Idol."
"I feel like no matter what you guys need over there, I'm always going to be there," she said. "If you call me, like, 'We need you to come for the first show.' 'Yes, okay!' 'We need you to come to be a mentor!' 'All right.' I feel like there's just that tie there. I just don't know if I can be there every single day, all the time the way we've been doing the past two years with the other things."
Lopez and Tyler, singer of the band Aerosmith, joined the series in 2010 and have served as co-judges alongside veteran cast member Randy Jackson for the past two seasons. The former two were cast on the show soon after the departure of the show's most famous judge and co-creator, Simon Cowell, as well as Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres.
Tyler announced on Thursday that he is leaving his "mistress" "American Idol" to focus on his work with his "first love" - his rock group, which is currently touring and is set to release a new album in November.
Lopez had said that day on NBC's "Today" show that she was thinking about her future on the FOX series.
"I've just enjoyed it so much but I am thinking that maybe it's time for me to go and do the things, other things that I really love to do, like films and right now I'm on tour and performing and all the things that I do," she said. "So this has been a great journey ... but then again, I really love the show."
The season 11 finale of "American Idol," which aired in May, marked the lowest-rated last episode for the series. It earned a 6.4 rating among adults aged 18 to 49 and was watched by about 21.4 million people.
While it did win its time slot, last year's finale drew 29.2 million viewers and a 9.2 rating. The season 5 finale in 2006, when "American Idol" was at its prime, earned a 14.2 rating and was watched by about 36.3 million people.
FOX has refused to comment about casting reports. It is common for TV show departure rumors to surface when stars negotiate new contracts.
Lopez had told former judge Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show in May that she was unsure if she would return to "American Idol," adding: "I really do enjoy it. I don't know if I can go for a third year. I miss doing other things. It really does lock you down, which was nice the first year, with the babies being 3 and 4. Now they're getting more mobile, they're about to go to school. I just don't know."
Lopez and ex-husband Marc Anthony are parents to 4-year-old twins, Max and Emme, who are four. She is currently on tour with fellow Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias.
Her appearance on the "Today" show was also aimed at promoting the new film "Ice Age: Continental Drift," the fourth installment of the hit animated movie franchise. She plays Shira, a saber-toothed cat who becomes the love interest of Diego, played by Denis Leary. The movie hits theaters on Friday, July 13.
"I think, having kids, it's always kind of interesting to be involved in an animated project, a cartoon, something you know that they're going to enjoy because everything else I do, they really just don't care about," Lopez said. "This is something we're going to be able to enjoy together. One of my favorite things is just watching movies with them."
In addition to her tour and the movie, Lopez also has another side project in the works - she recently teamed up with the cable channel ABC Family to develop a drama about a lesbian couple and their family.
The cable channel airs many shows popular with young female viewers, a key demographic, such as "Pretty Little Liars" and "The Secret Life of the American Teenager."
Tyler brought a rock n' roll edge to the largely pop-themed "American Idol." He flirted with several female contestants, showcased his trademark hippie rocker style and occasionally rattled off bleeped-out swear words in his enthusiastic critiques.
On the season 11 finale of "American Idol," he sang with Aerosmith on stage, marking the first time the band members performed on the show since he became a judge. They played their upcoming album's first single, "Legendary Child." Its music video was posted online on Wednesday.