Does American Idol Want Paula Abdul Back?

Hold the phones!!

Now that Nigel Lythgoe has returned to American Idol as exec producer, could Paula Abdul be back in her judge's seat?

Lythgoe reportedly told Daily Variety that he'd like to find a way to bring Abdul back to the show.

"I still love Paula," Lythgoe said. "She's signed to CBS, probably exclusively, but I'd recommend we have her in a heartbeat."

He's also on the record saying he prefers the original three-judge format. And he's a fan of rumored new Idol judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

"They can knock her film career, but (audiences) know she's a good actress," Lythgoe said of Lopez. "And as J-Lo she had some great pop records. If she joins, I'm happy."

And as for colorful Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, who may be stepping in for Simon Cowell:

"Why wouldn't you want a legend there? You never know what he's going to say. That, as a TV producer, you're interested in."