TCA: Gaspin Not Afraid of ‘Idol'

NBCU exec says he'd schedule a "good show" against TV's top show amid shakeups
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Jeff Gaspin is not afraid of American Idol.

"I think the idol situation poses an opportunity," The NBC Universal TV Entertainment Chairman said Friday morning following an executive session at the TCA press tour. "We don't have to be afraid necessarily to put what we think is a good show up against it."

He also said he'd love to be in the Ellen Degeneres business, though no talks are underway. Gaspin's comments come the day after Fox and Degeneres said the talk show host was bowing out of the next season of American Idol.

Fox, which is set to present at TCA on Monday (Aug. 2), is in the throes of re-booting the talent competition and TV's top show.

There has been ongoing speculation about who might be tapped to sit behind the Idol judges table since it was announced last summer that Simon Cowell would exit the show at the end of the most recent season. Speculation is now turning to Jennifer Lopez, Deadline.com reported Thursday. Numerous recent reports also included Aerosmith's Steven Tyler as a possible judge and other candidates have included, at varying times, Howard Stern, Elton John, Sean Combs, Chris Isaak, Justin Timerblake, Jamie Foxx and Jessica Simpson.

There is also speculation that the entire current judges table could be scrapped as part of an overall show makeover that includes the return of former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who left Idol in 2008.

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