BEVERLY HILLS -- As it turns out, the "American Idol" judges panel won't be starting completely from scratch next January.

Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said on Thursday that country singing star Keith Urban will return to the panel as the only holdover from a tumultuous Season 12.

"He's a funny guy and people really liked him," Reilly told reporters at the TV critics press tour. "I don't think he got a chance to let his personality shine through (last season)."

Indeed, Urban was overshadowed by feuding judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, both of whom have departed, along with longtime arbiter Randy Jackson. It was generally assumed that "Idol" would make a clean sweep of the panel, but Urban managed to survive the carnage.

Keith Urban will return as a judge on "American Idol".
Keith Urban will return as a judge on "American Idol". ( Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

As for the rest of the panel, it's still a blank slate with Reilly claiming there is nothing new to report. He did confirm that Fox has had talks with Jennifer Lopez about returning to the show, but "no deal is in place."

As for the overall makeup of the panel, Reilly said, "We want comfortable judges who make it comfortable to view. ... And we want to return the focus to the contestants."

Later in the day, E! Online reported that, according to a source close to the show, will.i.am was being considered for a spot on the "Idol" panel.

Other Fox highlights:

-- The network will adapt the British crime drama "Broadchurch" for American audiences as a limited series set to air during its 2014-2015 season. But you might prefer to watch the excellent original, starring David Tennant, starting Aug. 7 on BBC America.


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-- Mary Lynn Rajskub, who plays beloved computer analyst Chloe, has signed on to be in Fox's "24: Live Another Day" limited series, which will air next spring.

-- Reilly said "New Girl" was chosen to air in the coveted post-Super Bowl slot because the show is familiar to the network's viewers and that "we're still in a building mode" with the show.

-- Fox isn't putting "Bones" out to stud on Friday nights, Reilly insisted. "It's a quality show with a really passionate audience that's going to help us build Friday night," he said.