Belfast Telegraph

Idol filming delayed by judge hunt

American Idol bosses have reportedly had to delay filming on the new series as they struggle to fill the empty seat on the judging panel.

Harry Connick Jr is said to be in talks to join returning judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez, after a deal to sign up songwriter and producer Dr Luke fell through at the last minute, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Filming for the new series of auditions was apparently due to start on September 3, but if the third judge has not been signed, production can not begin.

Insiders at Fox say bosses are reluctant to sign another woman following the clashes between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj on last year's show.

Meanwhile, E! News reports that the official announcement of former judge Randy Jackson returning to the show as a mentor is imminent.

The singer and producer, who has been on the show since it began in 2002, announced in May that he was leaving after 12 years to work on his business ventures.

But it has been claimed Randy will still appear on the show, replacing mentor Jimmy Iovine, the music producer who has been with the show for the past three seasons. Insiders say Randy's role will be much more hands on.

The new series is due to return to screens in January next year.

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