"American Idol" was in a precarious position before she and Steven Tyler signed on as replacement judges for the past season. Though not unusual for a show with a long run, its future had some questions.
Wasn't Simon Cowell and his barbs the dominant appeal? And he was gone.
But Tyler and the cheery Lopez get a large measure of credit for resuscitating the show with their performances. Finale ratings declined in 2009 and 2010, but this year shot up 12%.
Now, cloming off a one-year contract, Lopez has more leverage than LeBron James last summer (not sure if he would have the same value now).
It may only be posturing, but while it might seem tough to walk away from America's most-watched show, J. Lo says she's not sure about coming back.
"I don't know," she told BBC radio this week in a widely covered interview. "I haven't been forced to make a decision and I'm glad about that because honestly I'm very on the fence about it."
Lopez leaving would be trouble for Fox. It got lucky that Tyler and Lopez both resonated. Would it be so successful in picking replacements again? Kara didn't work and Ellen, who seemed a natural, didn't either.
With "The X Factor" coming and "The Voice" gaining, there would be a lot riding on finding appealing talent again and, even if well-known, it might take the public time to get used to them in their new role (Lopez and Tyler had that as well).
On the BBC, Lopez said: "I had an amazing time doing it and I loved it, but I have a lot other things happening, and it's going to come down to me making a choice of what I want to do for the next year and we're not really at the breaking point of you have to make a decision right now. I'm just really enjoying the time of just waiting and seeing."
Lopez and her husband are working on a show involving "Idol" mastermind Simon Fuller.
And, as much as she helped inject new energy into "Idol," the show no doubt has done the same for her singing and acting careers.