It's official: Nothing about the next season of American Idol is official — yet.
After speculation that Fox would announce a new lineup of judges Monday — Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson have been the most-mentioned threesome — Fox chairman Peter Rice told reporters that no one is a lock.
"There are no signed deals with anyone on either side of the camera," Rice said. That includes Nigel Lythgoe, who has been widely reported as likely to return as an executive producer.
Fox announced last week that Ellen DeGeneres would not be back as a judge next season, igniting a flurry of reports that the show was close to sealing deals with Lopez and Tyler as replacements for DeGeneres and Simon Cowell. Cowell is leaving Idol to launch The X-Factor, a U.S. version of his British music competition show, for Fox in fall 2011.
"Much of the information that has been written is accurate, and some of it is wildly innaccurate," Rice said.
Rice would not answer questions about whether Kara DioGuardi would be back as a judge or whether the show will stick to a four-judge panel.
"When we have signed deals, we're going to announce them," Rice said. "We're excited about the new judging panel... we met with a tremendous amount of people."
Rice said the filmed audition rounds — at which the new judges will be present — will take place as planned, beginning in mid-September.