EXCLUSIVE: Yes, Lythgoe Might Return to ‘Idol,’ But Only as CKX Rep

Veteran exec will not take over as the show’s executive producer, as has been reported


Nigel Lythgoe is indeed preparing to rejoin "American Idol," but he won't be in an executive producer role as has been widely reported.

Lythgoe's childhood friend and frequent producing partner Ken Warwick told TheWrap late Monday evening that Lythgoe is in talks to sign on as "CKX's representative on the show."

As TheWrap reported Monday afternoon, Lythgoe is close to a deal with "Idol," but the ink is not yet dry.

CKX is the parent company of 19 Television, one of the co-producers of "Idol" along with FremantleMedia.

Warwick, "Idol's" executive producer, told TheWrap that he will remain in that role in spite of widespread reports that Lythgoe was going to take the position.

"A press release will be made as soon as Nigel signs with CKX. He will return as CKX's representative on the show. I will remain the exec producer of 'American Idol.' He will most certainly not be taking over the 'reins' of the production," Warwick said.

Lythgoe is a judge and executive producer on "So You Think You Can Dance," as well as one of "Idol's" original producers. He left the show in 2008 saying he wanted to focus on "SYTYCD," which he co-created with "Idol" creator Simon Fuller.

Both Lythgoe and Fuller are executives at 19 Television, which produces both shows. They also teamed to form the production company Big Red 2 Entertainment in June.

Lythgoe's new position as "Idol's" CKX rep would be a return to his old role on the show. During Lythgoe's first stint with "Idol," he worked for CKX subsidiary 19 Television. Warwick works for the other production company behind the show, FremantleMedia. CKX hasn't had a rep on the "Idol" set since Lythgoe's departure.  

In addition to their television work, Lythgoe and Warwick also operate a winery together in San Miguel, California.

Lythgoe has not responded to request for a comment on this story.