ABC is bringing American Idol back to the small screen, and the network is apparently pulling out all the stops to recruit big names as judges of the singing competition. Although original Idol judge Simon Cowell refused to return, we do now know of one person who has signed on to critique all the contestants. Katy Perry is on board as a judge when American Idol returns to the airwaves.
Rumors of Katy Perry joining American Idol began to circulate over the weekend, but ABC only confirmed her participation during its upfront presentation. As one of the biggest stars in the music biz today, Perry is a huge asset to ABC as a motivator for advertisers to commit to the reboot. Even if the rest of the panel of judges doesn't bring as much star power as Perry, she has already raised the profile of the show significantly.
Securing judges with big names has been a goal for ABC ever since work on the reboot began, according to THR. No figures have been released, but we can bet that the Katy Perry didn't exactly come cheap. The price for high profile talent as judges is part of what created the skyrocketing costs for the last several seasons of American Idol on Fox; ABC evidently doesn't intend to spare any expenses if it means getting the reboot off the ground in a truly spectacular way.
We now have to wonder who will join Katy Perry on the panel of judges. Simon Cowell is out, and Kelly Clarkson's rumored attachment to the reboot was debunked when she signed on as a coach for the next season of NBC's The Voice. My pitch for Brian Dunkleman to be involved doesn't seem to have resulted in an offer from ABC. We'll have to wait and see who ABC lands to join Perry. I'm guessing they might have an easier time signing talent now that Katy Perry is officially on board. Sitting on a panel with an A-lister might have a lot of appeal to other prospective judges.
So far, the new American Idol sounds like it will look pretty different in some key ways from Fox's original American Idol. Hopefully ABC can work out a deal that brings Ryan Seacrest back as host. Even as the Fox series began to cycle through judges at a furious pace toward the end, Seacrest was always there, and he could really help ABC's Idol feel just as grand as it did on Fox.
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