In an effort to boost failing ratings, the producers of 'American Idol' supposedly had devious plans to replace Mariah Carey halfway through this season with former judge Jennifer Lopez.

Until Mimi lawyered up, that is.

According to the generally reliable news outlet TMZ, Lopez was approached by FOX executives to help out their flagship program since last week's ratings were reportedly the worst since in more than a decade. (You may recall Jenny from the Block left the show in the first place because the network didn't offer her enough cash to stay on.)

The Hollywood Reporter has a story similar to TMZ's, but it says the deal was axed when Carey brought in her high-priced legal team.

In a statement, FOX completely denied everything, saying, "This is just another ridiculous 'Idol' judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale." And producer Nigel Lythgoe added, "I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season."

The network does, however, supposedly have big plans to completely replace the current judging panel (including the oft-late and troublesome Nicki Minaj) next season.

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