Showrunner Ken Warwick reups in pricey pact
“American Idol” exec producer Ken Warwick has sealed a rich three-year, eight-figure deal to continue as the showrunner behind Fox’s megahit “American Idol.”Warwick’s pact reps the latest blockbuster deal to come out of the “Idol” camp, hot off the heels of host Ryan Seacrest’s $45 million reup. Meanwhile, judge Simon Cowell is said to be in line for an even more massive payday, while fellow judge Paula Abdul has also been furiously working a new deal. For producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America, maintaining the status quo on TV’s most-watched program has cost them a pretty penny. But “American Idol” continues to mint barrels of cash for all involved. In the case of Warwick, the new deal is believed to make him one of the highest-paid showrunners in TV — if not the highest-paid. Warwick’s deal is only for “Idol” and is specific to FremantleMedia. Pact comes a year after Warwick went solo as the competish’s showrunner, following Nigel Lythgoe’s departure from the show. Warwick, who’s been with “Idol” since its 2002 launch, was responsible for the changes to this past season of the talent competish. Under his watch, “Idol” scored eight Emmy nominations last week. Warwick’s credits include “The Next Great American Band,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The Swan” and “American Juniors.” He also helped put together the two “Idol Gives Back” special editions of “Idol.” He starred with Lythgoe in the short-lived Fox Reality series “Corkscrewed.”
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