×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Abdul ends her ‘Idol’ era

Fox 'saddened' by judge's decision

Paula Abdul will not return to “American Idol” after eight seasons with the show, she announced on her Twitter feed late Tuesday.

Details were still emerging on the breakdown in talks with Abdul, who had been involved with some rather public contract negotiations with Fox and “Idol” producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America.

Judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson were already locked in for season nine, while Kara DioGuardi reupped for her second season on the “Idol” panel earlier this week.

Host Ryan Seacrest also recently signed a deal to stick with the show — leaving Abdul as the last “Idol” regular without a new deal. The rich new pacts for Cowell and Seacrest, among others, have made “Idol” a much more expensive show to produce.

According to a statement from Fox, FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, “Paula Abdul has been an important part of the ‘American Idol’ family over the last eight seasons, and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she’s a tremendous talent, and we wish her the best.”

Abdul was reportedly asking for as much as $20 million a year to stay with the show; the producers had offered a raise, but the two sides were unable to come to terms.

“With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to #IDOL,” Abdul wrote on her Twitter page. “I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all … being a part of a show that I helped from day 1 become an international phenomenon.”

Abdul — the most famous element of “Idol” when the show first bowed in 2002, having landed a string of pop hits in the early 1990s — was seen as a bit of an eccentric presence on the show. The judge was also once accused of carrying on a relationship with an ex-contestant of the show.

But Abdul’s unpredictability and sibling-like relationship with Cowell were seen as a major draw for “Idol.” It’s unclear whether the show will revert back to three judges, with DioGuardi now the sole female voice on the panel, or if another judge will be recruited.

Abdul’s departure comes as auditions for the next season of “Idol” get under way.

More TV

  • Ryan Tedder Hitmakers

    Ryan Tedder on the Secrets of Leading Pop Fans Into Songland

    Despite his band’s name, Ryan Tedder is a man of many, many republics. He’s the songwriter of the year in Variety‘s Hitmakers issue largely for his work as a producer-writer in ensuring, with “Sucker,” that the Jonas Brothers had the smoothest possible runway for their comeback to make a safe landing. But eclipsing even that [...]

  • Karen McDougal

    Karen McDougal Sues Fox News Over 'Extortion' Claim

    Karen McDougal, the former model who was paid $150,000 to stay quiet about her affair with President Donald Trump, sued Fox News on Thursday, alleging that host Tucker Carlson falsely accused her of extortion. The slander lawsuit, filed in state court in New York, concerns a segment that aired in December 2018 in which Carlson [...]

  • 'Watchmen,' 'Succession' Among 20202 Writers Guild

    Writers Guild Unveils 2020 TV Award Nominees

    “The Simpsons” is leading the way with three Writers Guild of America nominations, followed by two each for “Bob’s Burgers,” “The Crown,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Pen15,” “Russian Doll,” “Succession,” “Veep” and “Watchmen.” Fox’s “The Simpsons,” which began airing in 1989, scored noms in the animated category for the “Go Big or Go Homer,” “Livin’ [...]

  • Lena Dunham

    HBO Max Orders Lena Dunham-Produced High School Dramedy 'Generation' to Series

    HBO Max has given out a series order to the half-hour high school dramedy “Generation.” The project had been ordered to pilot at the nascent streamer earlier this year, meaning this is the first HBO Max pilot to get picked up to series. The ten-episode series follows a group of high school students whose exploration [...]

  • British Writer Nick Stoller Arrives For

    'Neighbors' Director Nick Stoller Sets 'Florida Man' Put Pilot at Fox

    A one-hour rom-com procedural set in the Florida Panhandle is in the works at Fox. The network has issued a put pilot commitment to “Florida Man,” which hails from “Neighbors” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” director Nick Stoller, and “Bones” producer Carla Kettner. “Florida Man” centers around the loquacious, eccentric Bell Prescott, who hasn’t left the [...]

  • Consumer Reporter Jeff Rossen Joins Hearst

    Consumer Reporter Jeff Rossen Joins Hearst Television

     Jeff Rossen, a TV journalist who became a fixture on NBC’s “Today” with reports about consumer tips and avoiding scams, is taking up a new role at Hearst Television. Rossen will become the company’s chief national consumer correspondent, a new role, and will continue to deliver his “Rossen Reports” that help people analyze how to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content