Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
UPDATED: The feud between new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj: real or fake? That was the question lobbed at the American Idol panel at TCA this morning in the wake of reports of cat-fighting between new judges Carey and Minaj, which one critic charged “feels like it’s fake.” Naturally, that sentiment was vehemently denied by both the producers and the judges. “Whatever feuds there have been — and this isn’t just between Nicki and Mariah but Keith (Urban) and Randy (Jackson) as well — are genuine,” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said. “Whenever you’re in this sort of passionate situation, these things happen.” Fox reality chief Mike Darnell echoed that “it’s authentic” and explained that it has to do with the fact “there is passion in this group. They disagree about the talent, and the ways to approach the talent.” (After the panel, Darnell denied that anyone involved in Idol has orchestrated the Carey-Minaj feud, blaming it on “a rogue crew member probably took the video and sent it to TMZ. We did not encourage it.”) (more…)