American Idol has been renewed for a third season at ABC. But there is still no word on whether judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry or Luke Bryan will return. Next season will be the singing competition’s 18th season overall, including the 15 years the show aired on FOX from 2002 through 2016.
An individual with knowledge of the negotiations tells Variety that offers have been made to all three to return but it remains to be seen if they will sign on again. Host Ryan Seacrest is reportedly under a long-term deal.
The issue is ABC’s desire to renew the show, but only if costs can be cut across the board. One huge expense is Katy’s salary which is a massive $25 million a year.
All of this activity comes ahead of tomorrow’s (May 14) Upfront presentation for advertisers. It’s not unusual that the show’s renewal is announced without word on the judges. I’m sure ABC would love to announce all the news at once for advertising attending the Upfronts. After all, the presentation helps ad executives make decisions regarding what they are willing to pay for spots. But there have been seasons of American Idol–especially in the Jennifer Lopez era–where the panel wasn’t announced until late summer or fall, while months and months of speculation ensued in the meantime.