Official: 'American Idol' announcement next week
UPDATED: At long last, the end is near.
Fox will conclude months of media leaks and speculation with an official "American Idol" judging panel announcement next Wednesday.
Host Ryan Seacrest will take the stage at The Forum arena in Los Angeles, where he is expected to reveal what "Idol" fans already have heard many times before: Singers Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are joining the 10th season of the reality hit.
Randy Jackson will continue on the veteran series as the lone holdover from last season.
Earlier this month, Fox announced it was adding a final "Idol" contestant tryout date on Sept. 22 at The Forum, which will help ensure the venue is packed with fans of the show.
Thursday’s news of the arena date could be seen as Fox dragging out a process that’s already dragged into media overtime -- the network is making an announcement about an announcement instead of just finally making the announcement.
Sources say a music industry figure (likely Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records chairman Jimmy Iovine) is also expected to play a role on the show. Additional format tweaks are possible as well.
The announcement will conclude an exhaustive search to replace lead judge Simon Cowell, who's launching his own singing competition, a domestic version of his UK hit "The X Factor," on Fox next fall.
Sources say Tyler's deal was finished weeks ago, with the singer and members of Aerosmith making little effort to keep secret his involvement on the show. Lopez's deal took considerably longer, with the singer accused of making "diva-like" demands (apparently when a talented female drives a hard bargain, she's a "diva," but when Elton John prices himself out of the "Idol" market, he's simply hard to get).
Lopez reportedly took a $12 million deal to join the show, which is still considerably less than Cowell's former salary of $36 million. It's also well above the $3.5 million that Paula Abdul made on the show.
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