The judging panel for the 13th season of American Idol is expected to be in place by the end of the weekend so production can get underway as planned. Harry Connick Jr. is finalizing a deal to take the third spot alongside Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez. As we first reported, Connick Jr. emerged as a leading candidate for the vacant chair earlier this week after a deal with music producer Dr. Luke fell through at the last minute. Connick is a self-professed big American Idol fan and has done two very well-received stints as a guest mentor on the Fox singing competition. With him on board, Idol for the first time will have a judging panel entirely made of singers, resembling the group of mentors on rival The Voice.

‘Idol’: Jimmy Iovine Out, Randy Jackson Poised To Replace Him
Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Idol’ Return Is On, Says Boyfriend In Apparent Slip