- - Monday, August 20, 2012

Nicki Minaj sings about “Starships,” but is she a star-maker? The singer-rapper could be joining the ranks of “American Idol” judges.

A person close to Miss Minaj said Monday the 29-year-old entertainer has been in talks to judge the Fox TV competition and that a deal is in the works, according to the Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Fox network said it had no comment.

If Miss Minaj signs on, she would join Mariah Carey as a new judge on “Idol,” which returns in January. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced their exits from the show last month.

Miss Minaj — known for her colorful hairstyles, wardrobe and antics — is best known for hits like “Super Bass,” “Starships” and “Turn Me On” with David Guetta.

Watchdog group: There’s
 more implied nudity on TV

A watchdog group said broadcast television is implying a lot more nudity in prime time than it used to.

The Parents Television Council said Monday that its researchers found 76 instances where a person appeared nude, with their private parts obscured, in prime time last season, the Associated Press reports. It happened on 37 different shows.

The group said that’s a sharp rise from the 15 instances the networks aired the previous season.

Examples include a couple skinny-dipping on “The Bachelor,” Howie Mandel jokingly appearing nude in his dressing room at “America’s Got Talent” and a naked man jumping out of a car trunk in the candid- camera show “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.”

In each case, the full nudity was obscured by pixilation or strategically placed objects.

‘Tonight Show’ lays off 
workers, Leno takes pay cut

“The Tonight Show” has laid off about two dozen workers, prompting host Jay Leno to accept a pay cut to spare other staffers as NBC clamps down on expenses, the Associated Press reports.

NBC Universal imposed the cutbacks Friday, according to a person familiar with the moves. The person asked not to be identified because NBC Universal hadn’t officially disclosed the cost cutting.

The payroll purge affected about 10 percent of the roughly 200 people who work on “The Tonight Show,” still the top-rated late-night program. Viewers shouldn’t notice any changes in programming at “The Tonight Show,” the person said.

Story Continues →