“American Idol” is getting the band back together.
As producer FremantleMedia preps the upcoming 16th season of the revived series on ABC, it has quietly begun to draw a number of “Idol” veterans once again into the show’s orbit, Variety has learned.
Among the behind-the-scenes professionals returning for the ABC reboot are senior supervising producer Patrick Lynn; executive in charge of production Wylleen May; music supervisor Robin Kaye; and co-executive producer Megan Michaels Wolflick.
During its original 15-season run on Fox, “Idol” employed roughly 150 Los Angeles-based crew members. Lynn was among those who were with the program for the entirety of its run. May, Kaye, and Wolflick joined in subsequent seasons.
Musical director Rickey Minor is also set to return to the show, as Variety previously reported.
But several high-profile people long associated with the franchise are not as of yet involved in the reboot — including former executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick, neither of whom has been approached about returning, and creator Simon Fuller. ABC also has yet to close a deal with Ryan Seacrest, with the sticking point believed to be an executive producer credit being ought by the longtime host.
“Do I think I will?” Seacrest told Variety last week when asked if he would return as “Idol” host. “The puzzle is a matrix. I love the show. I have great affection for the show, and I think the show will be tremendously successful on ABC.”
One potential hurdle that would need to be cleared is Seacrest’s schedule, which has him co-hosting ABC’s “Live With Kelly and Ryan” weekday mornings in New York — on the opposite coast from Los Angeles, where “Idol” traditionally shoots. “That is one of the things I’m looking at, just on my globe, just what time the show ends and what time I start the next day in New York,” Seacrest said. “I think it’s doable.”
Most of the show’s on-camera roles remain unfilled. The exception is the judges’ chair set to be occupied by pop star Katy Perry, who will earn $25 million for the coming season — making her one of the highest paid people on television. Neither of the two judges yet to be cast — Lionel Richie is said to be in advanced talks — is expected to make nearly as much as Perry.