Mel B banned from Channel Nine
Former Spice Girl Melanie Brown is unable to work on Australia's Got Talent after a judge ruled that she is still locked into her contract with Seven.PT1M4S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2i216 620 349 April 18, 2013
With Seven and Nine at war in court and Mel B in the sin bin, to sit out her contract, could the Mel B plan B be another Spice Girl?
Ginger Spice has emerged as the front-runner in the race to replace Melanie Brown, who was ousted from Nine's reboot Australia's Got Talent after a court battle with Seven.
Next spice off the rack? ... Could Melanie Brown, left, be replaced by Geri Halliwell, next to her, on Nine's Australia's Got Talent. Photo: Getty Images
It is understood Nine has been holding discreet talks with Ginger Spice, whose real name is Geri Halliwell, as a contingency in case the court battle with Seven did not fall in their favour.
Nine had hoped to sign Brown, who was known as Scary Spice when she and Halliwell were in the 1990s girl band The Spice Girls, as a judge for its reboot of Australia's Got Talent.
She would have joined judges Dawn French, Timomatic (real name: Tim Omaji) and Kyle Sandilands, and host Julia Morris on the show.
Could Britain's Geri Halliwell, formerly of The Spice Girls, be a judge on Australia's Got Talent? Photo: Getty Images
The fourth judges seat is now, effectively, empty.
Although a number of names are swirling around the rumour mill - including veteran talent show judge Sharon Osbourne and American singer Chris Isaak - Halliwell's is the one which seems to be rumoured the loudest.
It is customary for a TV network to negotiate with a range of contenders when securing talent for a show like Australia's Got Talent.
Osbourne and Isaak were both mentioned earlier in the year as contenders.
Osbourne is a talent show veteran, having served as a judge on both The X Factor in the UK and America's Got Talent.
Nine is rebooting the series after Seven let its rights to the format lapse.
Sources say Seven was sceptical of its potential second life, but the signing of British comedian Dawn French was seen as a game-changing moment.
Brown, meanwhile, has been working on America's Got Talent. Her plans in the longer term, and whether she will appear on Seven, are not yet clear.