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Reboots and revivals are all the rage nowadays, and ABC scored a big one when it landed the rights to the hit series American Idol. Although Idol's numbers had dropped enough for Fox to order a cancellation back in 2016, a bidding war broke out earlier this year over which network would get the rights to reboot. ABC came out on top, even landing pop superstar Katy Perry as one of the three judges. While signing Perry was a step in the right direction toward launching a sensational reboot, it turns out that her crazy salary could be causing problems already.
Katy Perry signed a $25 million deal for the upcoming first season of American Idol, which was already a huge sum of money for a show just starting off on a network. As it happens, that deal may be getting in the way of ABC landing more big names to the reboot. Variety reports that the $25 million price tag represents 65% of the budget allocated for talent on the series. No other judges or a host have signed since the announcement came that Perry was on board.
Given Katy Perry's international fame, it was always likely that she'd be paid the most of all the judges as ABC would be hard pressed to sign a bigger name. The reveal that her salary is 65% of the talent budget simply means that ABC might have to settle for much, much, much smaller names for the other judges and perhaps even the host. The Fox version of Idol arguably never signed judges of Perry's star power, but the panel of judges in the later seasons was generally comprised of folks with equal amounts of fame. That might not be the case this time around.
The biggest question mark moving forward is still Ryan Seacrest, who hosted American Idol for all of its original 15 seasons on Fox. There have been talks between Seacrest and ABC about working out a deal for a new contract, but nothing has been worked out yet. Hosting American Idol in Los Angeles would undoubtedly be challenging for Seacrest, who just relocated to New York for his new job on Live With Kelly and Ryan. If Seacrest isn't given a pretty hefty incentive, there's a good chance that American Idol will have to move forward without him. Could Brian Dunkleman's time have come at last?
Ryan Seacrest was reportedly offered $10 million to return as host of American Idol, which would mark a big chunk of the remaining 35% of the talent budget not already allotted to Katy Perry. We can only wait and see what happens next and who ABC can sign with a limited amount of funds still open.
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