TV Bites: Is Paula Abdul Planning a Return to American Idol?


· As American Idol ratings tumble this season, a nasty rumor is swirling around Hollywood that Paula Abdul may reclaim her position at the judges' table once Simon Cowell leaves. Says a source close to the Fox show: "They're not sure if she'd be the fifth judge, but they are talking to her. People tuned in to see Paula's wacky antics and her chemistry with Simon. The show is just not as much fun to watch without her." Meanwhile, Cowell has reportedly been wooing Abdul in hopes that she will join his U.S. version of The X-Factor in 2011. [NYP]

Spike TV bets on slacker cops, a Lost E.P. swims to CBS, and more TV Bites after the jump.

· Spike TV has given a series order to Playing With Guns, a comedy pilot about slacker suburban cops starring Danny Masterson. [THR]

· Lost co-executive producer Paul Zbyszewski has signed a two-year deal with CBS TV Studios which will provide him seven figures in exchange for drama projects. Zbyszewski will also get a co-executive producer credit on the Hawaii Five-O reboot if it goes to series. [Deadline]

· In addition to ordering a ninth season of Real Time With Bill Maher, HBO has upped the season order from 24 episodes to 35 and added two years to the comedian's contract. [The Wrap]

· Law & Order: Criminal Intent has cast Oscar-winning actor F. Murray Abraham to play the father of Jeff Goldblum's Detective Nichols. [EW]

· Good news for Burn Notice fans: USA Network has picked up two more seasons of the spy series. [Deadline]