Fox's hit talent search series "American Idol" returns to primetime tonight. As with past seasons, the show's 12th season will kick off with a new crop of "Idol" hopefuls putting their vocal chops on display in front of a celebrity panel of judges. Much of the buzz leading up to the new season has been about the judges themselves after video of a heated exchange between panel newcomers Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj went viral last fall. The feud reportedly got so intense Carey told interviewer Barbara Walters she felt the need to beef up her security detail after getting wind of a threat Minaj allegedly made against her. Minaj denies it. Also new to the panel this season is country star Keith Urban. Original "Idol" judge Randy Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest are also back for another round.
Carey, Minaj and Urban were brought in to fill the panel seats vacated by Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler last year. The two-night season premiere of "American Idol" kicks off tonight on Fox with a two-hour episode, starting at 8:00 pm Eastern.