The rumor mill has been working overtime recently on the topic of the American Idol judging panel. We know that Randy Jackson is leaving the show, but some reports suggest that the entire panel is getting an overhaul. In a conference call this morning, May 13, one reporter asked FOX entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly to address the speculation.

"We can confirm that one judge is not coming back, obviously in Randy," Kevin stated. "You know, it was not a complete shock. We talked to Randy about things. It felt like it was time to move. We didn't know the exact timing of it. But he's been a great partner for 12 years. There's not an ounce of ill will there either way."

And as to whether the other judges still have spots at the table, Kevin gave a somewhat contradictory answer: "Welcome back? Absolutely. But everything at this point is on the table. We'll be talking about it starting Friday." He did say it was "likely" there will only be three judges next season.

And what about the dwindling ratings this season?

"I really can't comment on that," Kevin explained. "I think there's a confluence of things … more so than any one factor. It's both the age of show right now [and] the format this year. We expanded some of the middle rounds. We did a boy-girl thing that went over three weeks. That is really where the ratings took their biggest hit. So really, if I were to point at any one thing, it might have been that format … Our next season begins on Friday morning after our finale. And that's when we're really going to go to work in earnest. Because I think the format, more than anything, will have a few fresh twists next year that we already identified."

Bring it on, Kevin! 

Credit: 5MinMedia Photo: American Idol Will Fire All Celebrity Judges and Revamp Show