Disappointing ratings for American Idol reportedly prompted the producers to consider a plan that would involve bringing back Jennifer Lopez as a replacement for Mariah Carey.

A story in THR says that Carey threatened to sue if such a plan was hatched, so the powers-that-be scuttled the idea to welcome back fan fave Jenny on the Block. There are apparently still hopes to have J. Lo return for Idol’s finale, which likely prompted this statement from a Fox spokesperson: “This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale.”

For what it’s worth, Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe told the trade publication that “I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season.”

Fox’s aging talent show has taken a beating in the ratings lately. Last week, in fact, the show was clobbered by repeats of The Big Bang Theory on CBS, which delivered bigger adult demo ratings. Meanwhile, the new judging panel that also includes Keith Urban lacks electricity, save for the occasional bursts of crazy talk from Nicki Minaj. And it probably doesn’t help matters that, across town, NBC has clearly succeeded in updating the judging panel on The Voice with the appealing duo of Shakira and Usher.