With the exit of Simon Cowell last season, rumors have swirled over who would be next to join the panel of judges. Recent rumblings have included names like Jessica Simpson.
Fox made a statement shortly after Ellen released her own:
She will certainly be missed, but with several other projects in the works, including her new record label, 11:11 Records, it’s not a surprise that Ellen would have to give something up. She added:
It seems Ellen prefers to be backing artists she believes in, rather than breaking the spirit of hopefuls. It’s likely for the best, as Ellen has always maintained that she’s not a fan of negativity and is usually a purveyor of dreaming big and never giving up — which is one of the reasons why we like her so much.
Update 5:45 p.m.
Jennifer Lopez will replace Ellen on the judge’s panel. Deadline is reporting:
Deadline also says Ellen wanted out two months ago, saying “She’s not comfortable. She’s not happy. It’s not been fun.” Apparently Fox Broadcasting’s Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice and Alternative TV President Mike Darnell said that “with Cowell leaving, ‘We can’t let you out now because it would be bad for our franchise. Give us a chance to figure out who we could get.”
It seems there hasn’t been any ousting of any kind and that Ellen chose to exit the show before JLo signed on. The official announcement is expected from Fox at TCA on Monday.