ABC and American Idol producers Fremantlemedia are in conflict over casting the third judge on the panel. Freemantle wants Charlie Puth, which would result in an all-white panel. ABC believes the panel need to be racially diverse. Via TMZ
Now that Katy Perry is in place and Luke Bryan is just days from signing, ABC and Fremantle, which co-owns the show, are trying to settle on a third judge. Sources connected to the production tell us Fremantle wants Charlie Puth, but ABC believes there must be racial diversity on the panel.
We’re told the network continues to have its eye on Lionel Richie, who has been in play for several months. So far, we’re told there’s a standoff, but someone’s gotta blink because they’re almost ready to begin filming with the judges.
And this is interesting … we’re told Fremantle has taken a meeting with Troy Carter, a super manager of performers like John Legend, Nelly, Meghan Trainor?, Miguel and Gaga. He’s also one of the initial, big investors in Spotify. We’re told one of the reasons Carter may be appealing … if ABC wins on the diversity issue, Carter wouldn’t come with as big a price tag as Lionel, and the budget is almost blown.
If this is true, Fremantle needs to listen to ABC. Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Charlie Puth would be as lily white as a panel could possibly get. There would be backlash, and deservedly so. The panel should somewhat resemble the country and offer a broad overview of popular music. Anyway, I like the idea of a knowledgeable industry person on the panel, and Troy Carter sounds like he could fill the bill.