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'American Idol' reportedly not any closer to locking down Katy Perry's fellow judges for ABC revival


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/18/2017 

American Idol has yet to finalize its panel of judges other than Katy Perry with only six weeks reportedly left until cameras roll.

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About three months after ABC and American Idol's production company FremantleMedia North America made the big announcement of Katy's participation signed under a whopping $25 million contract, the rest of the judging panel has still not been locked down, TMZ reported.

Idol executives continue to work on nailing down a second, third, and possibly fourth judge for the show's upcoming revival, but it's getting down to the wire.

According to Idol sources, none of the previous frontrunners for a judging position -- Lionel Richie, Charlie Puth, Luke Bryan or Keith Urban -- are any closer to signing a deal than they were a few weeks ago.

Now, record producer Nile Rodgers has reportedly been thrown into the mix of names. Us Weekly previously reported that rocker Chris Daughtry was being considered for the panel as well.

American Idol is still debating whether the show should have three or four judges, TMZ reported, and one big issue is that Lionel is allegedly asking for a $10 million salary, which is double what executives are willing to pay due to Katy's hefty paycheck.

While ABC would ultimately like four judges, the decision will allegedly all come down to money.

Auditions for American Idol's upcoming sixteenth season are already underway, but the auditions held in front of the judging panel do not begin filming until the end of September.

Ryan Seacrest is returning as host of the reality singing competition for the 2018 revival. He told Kelly Ripa on their Live with Kelly and Ryan show last month he's "very, very excited" about the gig, adding that it's "going to be the best time."

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, FremantleMedia North America CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz defended all financial decisions made thus far in regards to American Idol's highly-anticipated turn.

"The show is not more expensive than its competitors in the genre. If other networks can make it work on similar properties, then there's no reason why ABC couldn't," Cecile told The Reporter, likely referencing NBC's The Voice.

"This notion that the show [costs] a lot more than any other is completely untrue. We know that because we've made other shows in other genres. ABC wouldn't order something that didn't work for them financially."

ABC announced in May the network would be bringing back American Idol, which aired its fifteenth-season finale in 2016 on Fox.



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