‘American Idol’: Ryan Seacrest Talks Drag After Katy Perry Deal

Ryan Seacrest
Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

Nearly three weeks after ABC confirmed that it would bring “American Idol” back to television, the singing competition has a high-profile anchor for its judges table, but no other confirmed talent on board.

ABC and producers FremantleMedia and Core Media locked up pop star Katy Perry as a judge for the upcoming season just in time for an announcement at the network’s upfront presentation. Perry’s services were secured at a rate of $25 million for the upcoming season — which sources tell Variety represents 65% of the budget earmarked for talent. No additional judges have since signed on to the show.

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Nor have producers and the network been able to seal a deal with Ryan Seacrest to return as host. Seacrest had been in talks to rejoin the series — which he appeared on for all of its 15 seasons on Fox — since before ABC even made the revival official. But ongoing talks have failed to produce a deal. A return to “Idol” would present significant logistical challenges, as Seacrest has relocated to New York for his new gig as host of ABC’s syndicated daytime show “Live With Kelly and Ryan.” “Idol” has traditionally shot in Los Angeles, and a move to New York to accommodate Seacrest is unlikely given the increased production costs involved.

A source close to Seacrest told Variety that the longtime “Idol” host “wants to make sure the show has the team and plan to deliver on its promise as it has for 15 seasons” before signing on.

Seacrest was reportedly made an initial offer of $10 million to return to “Idol.” Perry, in an interview this week with New York’s WKTU, appeared to confirm her $25 million “Idol” payday, saying, “I’m really proud that, as a woman, I got paid, and you know why? I got paid like more than like pretty much any guy that’s been on that show.”

Perry’s $25 million salary places her among television’s highest paid stars — well above the $13-15 million per season that Miley Cyrus and Blake Shelton earn as coaches on NBC’s “The Voice.” ABC moved quickly to lock up Perry after “American Idol” season one champion Kelly Clarkson, who had been in talks to return to the show as a judge, signed on to “The Voice” as a coach for season 14.

ABC representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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    1. jason Brown says:

      I was excited for idol to come back.but wow was katty Perry the wrong choice.With that large of a pay check and not having Ryan on board and locked up he is a must have or why bother.so they need to sighn to good judges with only 30 plus percent of budget left for talent do they not understand chemistry of judges makes the show.good luck were out.

    2. Corey Clark says:

      Hey Shirley!

      Why haven’t you done your follow up to this story yet you’ve been writing about me for years?!

    3. Brian O'Neill says:

      We may not watch the show just because they paid that obscene amount of money to this teenybopper fav. $25 million? For what? Are people going to tune in to watch Katy Perry blow sweet-nothings at even the marginally talented (just like Jennifer Lopez who never breathed a word of anything but frothing over the singers)? I don’t think so.

    4. Dontblameme says:

      Sad that these talent competition shows have become all about the freaking judges – the talent is secondary, if not tertiary.

      ABC needs to not forget Idol’s roots where Abdul was the only-vaguely recognized name.

      Will never be a success IMO if not produced properly and it appears they are going in the wrong direction.

    5. coleman says:

      Katy Fail. Her record is going to BOMB because she completely alienated all the deplorables who bought her stupid music supporting Queen Hillary. NO ONE WILL WATCH THIS. Another tv exec will bite the dust over this.

    6. Bobby says:

      Did the reporters even try to confirm the salary with ABC and Fremantle? They mention the $25 million like it’s a fact early in the story, but later reference Katy “seeming to confirm” the salary on a radio show. I think it’s in the $18 million to $20 million range.

    7. AmandaSue2 says:

      It’s WAY too soon to bring American Idol back. It hasn’t been missed yet… and Katy Perry is an idiot. All the public expects of her, is for her to show us her tits and have a decent haircut.

    8. KWK says:

      What shocks me about this article is Miley Cyrus getting paid 13-15 mill to “coach” on The Voice. Ms. Cyrus makes Madonna sound like Maria Callas by comparison.

    9. Richard says:

      Get Michael Buble — anyone who has seen him in concert know how much he can be

    10. Bird says:

      Katy Perry is an Illuminati idiot. Fail.

    11. Sylvia says:

      Seacrest out.

    12. Alex says:

      What are they going to pay the other two judges? The production cost is going to be a joke, there’s a reason other “Idol” stars have turned ABC down.

    13. bobby bullock says:

      Rating still going to be Low. It the same Crap.

    14. Allan Falk says:

      no one’s gonna watch this

    15. Jack says:

      I’m not sure why she’s “proud” she got $25M, it’s not like ABC has room to negotiate given her name, you want HER, you pay her price. It’s not like she’s some scrappy new to the scene actress who hard noses a decent payday by force of will, talent and tenacity and despite roadblocks and misogynistic execs…she’s a international pop tart, teen boys in Somalia know her tits she’s so fucking famous.

      This misplaced “I’m empowered” feminism thing has gotten batty

      • The Truth says:

        How dense can you be? No other woman — and no one other than Simon Cowell — has been paid $25 million year to be a judge on a television talent competition. She set a new TV industry benchmark for women. Why not be proud?

        Based on your comments, you’re exactly the kind of asshole misogynist Perry’s overcome.

    16. George Lewis says:

      Katy Perry: valuable. Ryan Seacrest: not valuable. Get McPhee.

    17. mremanne says:

      How abt this: move “Live With” to LA, and make Kelly Ripa a judge?

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