Today, Degeneres unexpectedly quit the show after one season into her 5-year contract with Fox.
She cited a more grueling schedule and inability to be as critical of contestants as the job demanded for the reasons why she has left.
In related news, there have been reports that Idol has been chasing Elton John and Justin Timberlake, among others, to take over for Simon Cowell's vacant position. Those two, for monetary and availability reasons, are considered longshots. I've read that Harry Connick Jr. remains a strong candidate--as does Nigel Lythgoe who is reportedly joining the producer staff for the upcoming season.