'American Idol' Judges, Ryan Seacrest Return

American Idol” judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. have joined host Ryan Seacrest for the Fox reality competition show’s 14th season, the network announced today.

“Jennifer, Keith, Harry and Ryan are the very best in the business at what they do, and I’m thrilled that they are returning to ‘American Idol’ for another season. Each brings unique qualities and expertise to the team, but they all share the same passion for helping undiscovered singers achieve the American dream,” said David Hill, senior exec VP of 21st Century Fox.

Host Seacrest, who has been with the show since its inception, recently signed a contract to stay with the show.

“I am thrilled our consummate host, Mr. Ryan Seacrest, is returning for Season 14, together with Jennifer, Harry and Keith,” said “Idol” creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. “Their interaction, warmth and experience made them an absolute joy to watch. I can’t wait to see their evolution together continue next season.”

The long-running singing competition show that helped make stars out of Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and others is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of Core Media Group.

“I am delighted that our dream team of Jennifer, Keith and Harry are back for ‘American Idol XIV,'” said Trish Kinane, president, entertainment, FremantleMedia North America and “Idol” exec producer. “Their experience, humor and passion for new talent has made them one of ‘Idol’s’ strongest-ever judging panels, and coupled with the expertise and charisma of Ryan Seacrest, we are ready to get out there to find the best talent in America.”

“Idol” auditions continue on June 25 in New Orleans, July 23 in Long Island, July 30 in Nashville and Sept. 29 in San Francisco.

This season also introduces the True Believer feature wherein the show will gift $50,000 to a friend or family member who has championed the season’s winner.

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