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One very important piece of ABC’s American Idol revival could be falling into place — a headlining star.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Katy Perry is in active talks to sign on as a judge of the new American Idol, set to premiere in 2018. Perry’s arrival on Idol would mark the first on-camera puzzle piece, as negotiations continue over whether former Fox host Ryan Seacrest will be able to reprise his old gig on top of new duties with Live With Kelly and Ryan and his radio show. (An ABC rep declined to comment on Perry.)
The very suggestion that Perry would serve as a judge confirms that ABC isn’t doing any sort of low-budget American Idol. A-list talent is still considered the linchpin on flagship reality series, though the costs of said talent are chief among the reasons that can make them difficult to keep on the air. Salaries for Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban and Seacrest are what made the original American Idol a money pit in its later years, ultimately leading to the 2015 decision to make its 15th season its final one.
Perry has previously guest judged on the U.K. version of The X-Factor, but this would be a real first for her. The recording artist has never lent any considerable amount of her time to anything but music — though not for lack of trying by the TV industry. Perry previously passed on multiple eight-figure offers to join NBC’s The Voice.
Speaking of The Voice, new of Idol‘s return was immediately followed by two of its most-celebrated alums, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson, boarding the NBC crown jewel.
ABC, which plans to launch the new American Idol in early 2018, is said to be trying to lock in as many details as possible before its Tuesday meet-up with media buyers in New York. The show will be one of the biggest selling points for the network’s coming season.
American Idol is being produced for ABC by FremantleMedia and Core Media Group. Previous Idol executive producer Trish Kinane is returning as showrunner.
TMZ first reported news of Perry.
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