According to TMZ: Jennifer Lopez has been approached by Fox execs to return to “American Idol” for the balance of the season … to replace Mariah Carey … sources connected with the network confirm to TMZ.

A rep for Fox denied the report, told FOX 411: “This is just another ridiculous ‘Idol’ judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale.”

Carey’s rep also contested the report, as did “Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe.

“I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season,” Lythgoe said.

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