After a two-year absence from the program, Fox has signed Nigel Lythgoe to a two-year contract to rejoin "American Idol" as executive producer, reports USA Today.
Lythgoe says he returned because "it was tough to watch things going down. I was never happy with the four judges, and I was watching the chemistry sort of be lost." As for his approach to the show, he vows that he’ll take a subtle approach instead of a total overhaul. "It’s going to have a face lift, but it’s not going to be fundamental change," he says.
The search for new judges — with Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres leaving — will take "a little while yet," the story says. He said he’s favoring a return to a three-judge panel but will be open to four if he finds the right personality combination. Lythgoe also says he doesn’t believe there will be guest judges, and that he isn’t a fan of having mentors each week, the story adds.