"American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe says he isn't certain Jennifer Lopez is leaving the show -- and hopes she won't.
Lythgoe spoke at the Television Critics Association summer press tour about his recent conversations with "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest.
"All I said to Ryan is I was really upset to hear of Steven [Tyler] leaving us and the possibility of Jennifer leaving us. She did say 99 percent. Strange thing to say, 99 percent. You're either leaving or you're not leaving. So I'm hoping that 1 percent may mean she's not leaving."
Also read: Jennifer Lopez Leaving 'American Idol'
Lopez said on Seacrest's radio show the day after Tyler announced his exit that she believed it was time to leave "Idol" after, two seasons with the show.
"Something has to give, and that's, I think, where I am right now," she said.
When Seacrest pressed Lopez on whether the two are still "co-workers," she said, "I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other the things that I have to do, that I've put kind of on hold because I love 'Idol' so much."
Lopez's representative also clarified to The Associated Press that she was done with the show.
But Lythgoe isn't alone in the hope that Lopez may remain: Fox has not released a statement announcing her exit, as it did for Tyler.
TheWrap has reported that Fox opted not to renew Lopez's contract when she demanded a $2 million raise, which would bring her salary to $17 million. The fact that she herself hasn't said she is 100 percent leaving could suggest she's open to a new offer to stay.
Lythgoe declined to comment, meanwhile, on whether he himself would stay with the show.
"I can't make any comments about my future with 'Idol' at the moment. We're in negotiations is all I can say there," he said.
- Nigel Lythgoe
- Jennifer Lopez
- Ryan Seacrest
- American Idol