LOS ANGELES -- The "American Idol" judges table is beginning to take shape: Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler has signed a deal to join the Fox talent competition for Season 10.
A source close to the negotiations has confirmed reports that Tyler has signed on the dotted line to fill one of the vacancies left by Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres. Fox declined to comment.
Rumors that Fox was in talks with Tyler and Jennifer Lopez leaked out in July. But Fox and the producers have consistently declined to comment, saying no announcements would be made until the deals were completed. In an interview with the New Jersey Star-Ledger published Wednesday, Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton said his band's frontman was definitely heading to "Idol."
"Steven is doing 'American Idol.' The ink is dry on that," Hamilton said. "So we'll have to work around his schedule for a new record."
Although talks with Lopez have reached an impasse, sources close to the negotiations told the Los Angeles Times that Fox expects the actress-singer-dancer to return to the bargaining table. Lopez's side has been trying to negotiate a sweetened package that would wrap a development deal and other enticements into her contract.
The hiring of the new judges amounts to a sweeping overhaul of the No. 1 show on TV, with an impact that is hard to predict. "Idol" producers have tightly controlled the show's image over the years, but the program was tossed into disarray following the recent exits of Cowell and DeGeneres. Although it's been reported that Kara DioGuardi was fired from the job she's held for two years, her father has said in the media that Fox has not informed her of her contract status.
Earlier this month, Fox announced that Nigel Lythgoe, who resigned as the show's executive producer in 2008, will return next season in the same role.