Lythgoe: Abdul Might Yet Return to ‘Idol’

"So You Think You Can Dance" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe says he’ll meet with falled "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul this weekend to discuss her joining his show as a guest judge.   "We’d certainly grab her," Lythgoe told reporters Thursday at the Fox portion of the TV Critics Assn. press tour, explaining that he […]

Last Updated: August 6, 2009 @ 9:41 AM

"So You Think You Can Dance" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe says he’ll meet with falled "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul this weekend to discuss her joining his show as a guest judge.

 

"We’d certainly grab her," Lythgoe told reporters Thursday at the Fox portion of the TV Critics Assn. press tour, explaining that he doesn’t "know anyone who’s had her experience" as a singer, dancer and a choreographer.

 

Lythgoe said he talked to Abdul Wednesday and told her he would be in Las Vegas this weekend for "Dance" auditions. "She’s coming out to meet me and see what opportunties there are," he said.

 

Later in the session, Lythgoe clarified that he’s "not talking about filling a third chair or a fourth chair" on "Dance" with Abdul. He also seemed to hint that Abdul could serve in a non-judge role.

 

While Lythgoe is talking to Abdul about "Dance," the producer said he’s not yet convinced she won’t yet be back on "Idol."

 

"I don’t know that she’s leaving ‘Idol’," he said. "There are always opportunities for renegotiations."

 

While he was supportive of Abdul, Lythgoe, a former showrunner of "Idol," predicted the show would survive without her, if need be.

 

"’Idol’ is far bigger than any individual," he said. "The format is what’s successful."

 

Lythgoe also got in a humorous dig at his former "Idol" colleagues Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest.

 

When asked if "Dance" could afford the cost of adding Abdul to its roster, Lythoe said: "If Simon and Ryan ever found out what I’m making, they’d want to double their salary," he said.