'American Idol' Judges Close Deals to Return for Season 3 on ABC

Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie will all return for the 18th cycle in 2020.
ABC/Karen Neal

ABC's American Idol will keep the status quo for its third season on the Disney-owned network.

Following extended deliberations, judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie will all return for the 18th overall season in 2020.

The new deals arrive as ABC had renewed the Fremantle-produced unscripted singing competition series for a third cycle on the network back in May. At the time, Perry, Bryan and Richie had offers to return but had not closed new deals. Financial terms of their new contracts were not immediately available. Perry's original paycheck for American Idol clocked in at an eye-popping $25 million. (Bobby Bones will also return as the show's in-house mentor.)

Not yet signed is host Ryan Seacrest. ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said Monday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour that the network is in negotiations with Seacrest: "I do not believe he will be missing," she said. "We're in ongoing conversations with Ryan about returning, and I'm hopeful that he will."

"American Idol is the original music competition series,” said Burke in a statement. “It was the first of its kind to take everyday singers and catapult them into superstardom, launching the careers of so many amazing artists. We couldn’t be more excited for Katy, Luke, Lionel and Bobby to continue in their roles as American Idol searches for the next great music star, with more live episodes and exciting, new creative elements coming this season.”

Auditions for season three on ABC — set for a spring 2020 return — kicked off July 23 in Brooklyn. A full list of audition cities follows:

Mobile, Ala.: TBD Venue (Aug 20)
Tallahassee, Fla.: Donald L. Tucker Civic Center at Florida State University (Aug. 23)
Macon, Ga.: TBD Venue (Aug. 23)
Santa Barbara, Calif.: TBD Venue (Aug. 23)
Baton Rouge, La.: Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center (Aug. 25)
Columbia, S.C.:  TBD Venue (Aug. 26)
Las Vegas, Nev.: TBD Venue (Aug. 26)
Waco, Texas: Waco Convention Center (Aug. 27)
Knoxville, Tenn.: Knoxville Convention Center (Aug. 29)
Salt Lake City: TBD Venue (Aug. 29)
Raleigh, N.C.: TBD Venue (Sept. 1)
Colorado Springs, Colo.: TBD Venue (Sept. 1)
Washington, D.C.: TBD Venue (Sept. 4)
Wichita, Kan.: TBD Venue (Sept. 4)
San Jose, Calif.: San Jose Convention Center (Sept. 6)
Pittsburgh, Pa.: TBD Venue (Sept. 7)
Springfield, Ill.: TBD Venue (Sept. 7)
Spokane, Wash.: Grand Hotel Davenport, Autograph Collection (Sept. 8)
Detroit: TBD Venue (Sept. 10)
Nashville: Nashville Municipal Auditorium (Sept. 18)
Chicago: Wintrust Arena (Sept. 21)