Update: Singer Katy Perry will also be a guest judge, along with Victoria Beckham, as previously reported. By January, they hope to have a new 4th judge. Boo. via TV Week.
Fox’s “American Idol” will use a series of guest judges including singers Victoria (“Posh Spice”) Beckham and Katy Perry until a permanent replacement for departing judge Paula Abdul is found, Fox Broadcasting Co. Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice told members of the Television Critics Association assembled in Pasadena, Calif., today.
Rice said that the network hopes that by January, when the show goes live, there will be a permanent replacement named for Abdul, who failed this week to come to terms on a new contract with the hit show.
via LA Times
Right before the Fox executive session of the semi-annual press tour this morning, an executive told the LA Times that Paula Abdul’s exit was not a publicity stunt, and that there’s no possibility she will be coming back to American Idol.
…Fox executives say, “It’s over. No question. It’s over.”
Fox executives told The Times that the negotiations are over and that they are looking toward the future. The network is being inundated with interested applicants for the position, and it intends to use the audition rounds, which begin Friday in Denver, to experiment with candidates.
Although executives were sad to see Abdul go, they see her departure as an opportunity to freshen up the format.
The gossip guy at the Chicago Sun-Times reports that his insiders at American Idol tell of champagne parties breaking out upon hearing the news of Paula’s departure:
”Can’t you hear our celebration?” said a veteran key ”Idol” staff member in a phone chat late Wednesday. ”We broke out the good champagne tonight.”
Indeed, I could hear the clinking of glasses and a few scattered cheers in the background at an impromptu party a number of ”American Idol” staff members put together after learning the news.
My first source repeated something Wednesday that she has told me on numerous occasions during the past couple of years: ”We are so tired of Paula’s tantrums, her constant diva behavior. … She took the concept of ‘difficult’ to a whole new level. Thank God she’s gone.”
I also learned independently the ”American Idol” producers believe the show will be fine ‘â€ once again with three judges, especially with Kara DioGuardi re-signed. However, if they feel a fourth judge is again needed, they reportedly have reached out quietly to a number of veteran singers ‘â€ who could possibly step into the old Abdul slot. Among names mentioned are Diana Ross and Natalie Cole.