"American Idol" is reportedly going to enable online voting through Facebook this season, marking the latest change made to the hit FOX singing contest program as part of a recent series shake-up.
Spokespeople for FOX and the show's production companies have not commented on the report by Entertainment Weekly, which said that starting on Thursday, March 1, viewers will be able to vote for their favorite contestants up to 50 times during a voting period by using their Facebook accounts.
Fans were previously only able to cast their votes through toll-free telephone calls and text messages. Under the new system, they can still do so, the magazine reported.
The current 10th season of "American Idol" features newcomers Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, who replaced outgoing judges Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi, who left the show last year amid declining ratings. The series also brought back executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and lowered the minimum contestant age to 15, as part of its program revamp.
The news regarding the show's reported Facebook plans comes days after Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper quoted Lythgoe as saying "American Idol" will introduce online voting this season and after People magazine said Cowell's new talent contest series, "The X Factor," will enable Facebook voting as well. The new series debuts on FOX in the fall and will offer its winner a $5 million record deal.
Meanwhile, "American Idol" fans have another event to look forward to - Lopez, an actress and singer, plans to debut the music video for her new single "On the Floor" during the show on March 3, FOX said in a statement.