Randy Jackson is the only judge returning to "American Idol" next season ... but that almost wasn't the case.
Sources close to production tell TMZ there was "serious talk" of a clean sweep of the judge's panel ... but we're told "Idol" brass wanted to keep a connection to the original judge's table, so Randy was spared.
As we previously reported, Simon Cowell left for "The X Factor," Ellen DeGeneres stepped down after one season and Kara DioGuardi was let go -- leaving Randy as the only remaining judge.
Welcome back, dawg!
Nearly an 'American Idol' Casualty
7/31/2010 11:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
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