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From the Bronx to the big screen, Jennifer Lopez knows first-hand about the ups and downs of the entertainment world. With Ellen DeGeneres leaving ‘Idol’, will Jennifer step in to take her place and nurture rising stars seeking to reach her level of success?

Former “Fly Girl” Jennifer Lopez is poised to return to television – this time as a judge on “American Idol.”

The singer-dancer-actor was close to signing a deal to join Fox TV’s hit singing contest, a person familiar with the negotiations said late Thursday. The person, who was not authorized to comment publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Fox declined comment. Phone and e-mail messages for Lopez’s representatives were not immediately returned.

The “American Idol” opening for Lopez comes with comedian-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres’ departure from the show.

Degeneres announced Thursday she was leaving after one year as judge.

“A couple months ago, I let Fox and the `American Idol’ producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” DeGeneres said in a statement. The comedian-talk show host said she realized that while she “loved discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings.”

In May, Simon Cowell exited after nine seasons to start a new talent show for Fox.

Those under consideration for his spot, according to reports, are a varied group that includes Steven Tyler and Harry Connick Jr.

Lopez’ films include “Selena,” “The Wedding Planner” and most recently “The Back-Up Plan.” She has appeared as a mentor on “American Idol.”

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