×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘American Idol’ Update: ABC ‘Taking a Lot of Meetings’ With Potential Judges

ABC’s “American Idol” reboot has made headlines for bringing Ryan Seacrest back as host and for bringing on Katy Perry as a very well-paid judge, but the singing competition show still has two judges’ seats to fill before its 2018 debut.

Last month, insiders said Lionel Richie, Charlie Puth, Luke Bryan and Keith Urban were in advanced talks to potentially join Perry on the judges’ panel, and while those names are very much in the mix, Variety has learned the decision has not been made, but ABC is starting to lock down on the judges.

“We don’t have to make any decisions immediately so we’re taking a lot of meetings because you want to get it right,” said ABC’s head of alternative programming, Rob Mills, said in a recent interview with Variety. The network isn’t under pressure just yet  because though auditions start next week, the judges’ auditions don’t begin until October.

When asked specifically about Puth and Richie, Mills responded, “We’re taking a lot of meetings. Some of these meetings have become public,” he said, referring to the media leaks. “To me,’talks’ means there are negotiations going on and I don’t even think we’re there yet with anyone. Really. We’re taking meetings and doing all the different permutations. We really want to make sure we get it right.”

Perry and Seacrest will both be very much part of the decision-making process for the other two judges, Mills explains. “They know everybody and they’ve got opinions,” he says. “Katy and Ryan are going to be instrumental in looking. We want to make sure this really feels like a family.”

Referring to the original “American Idol” panel with Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, Mills notes, “At the end of the day, as great as that original panel of judges was individually, it was also about the chemistry between them — Simon was wonderful, but if he didn’t have Paula or Randy, would he or the show have been as successful? We’ve got Katy and now it’s all about who’s going to be good with Katy.”

Aside from chemistry and star-power, the executive says it’s necessary that all of the judges have a passion to spot talent.

“Ryan and Katy, it is so important to them that we really find another ‘American Idol’ like a Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson or Chris Daugherty or Jennifer Hudson or Adam Lambert or one of these other massive stars,” Mills says. “We all take that really seriously so we want to find judges who are going to compliment that.”

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Taylor Swift performs at Amazon Music's

    Why Isn't Taylor Swift Doing a Big U.S. Tour for 'Lover'?

    Industry chatter was buzzing for weeks: Why hasn’t Taylor Swift announced a tour yet? Her new album, “Lover,” is a hit; she’s already performed on TV and did a ten-song set at a blockbuster Amazon Prime concert in New York in June, and she and her band clearly are ready. And yet touring industry insiders [...]

  • U2, Seattle 14 May 2017

    U2 to Finish 'Joshua Tree' 2019 Tour With Band's First Gig in India

    U2 is wrapping up its 2019 “The Joshua Tree” tour with a concert at Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium, on Dec. 15 – the first time the group will have performed in India. The newly added date comes at the end of an Asia-Pacific tour that was announced months ago. The tour is a continuation of [...]

  • Crime Placeholder

    Former AEG, First Access Exec Adam Lublin Charged With Sexual Abuse, Burglary

    Adam Lublin, a former executive at AEG and First Access Entertainment, was arraigned Monday morning in Manhattan Criminal Court on two counts of burglary and one count of sexual abuse, according to the New York Post. The executive allegedly snuck into a neighbor’s apartment, sexually abused her and stole her undergarments. According to the report, [...]

  • Kendrick Lamar House Manhattan Beach

    Kendrick Lamar Drops Nearly $10 Million on Manhattan Beach Mansion

    When he’s not performing to packed arenas worldwide — the international “Damn” tour wrapped up last year with over $62 million in gross receipts — Kendrick Lamar has long resided in L.A.’s South Bay region, specifically in the posh seaside city of Manhattan Beach. And after a reported long spell as an area home renter, [...]

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify VP Paul Vogel Talks Subscription Prices, Label Licenses, Podcasts

    The annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference gives representatives from major companies the opportunity to present to the investment community, and Paul Vogel, Spotify’s VP and head of financial planning & analysis, treasury and investor relations, spoke on the streaming giant’s behalf on Tuesday morning. While many of his comments were statements frequently heard in the [...]

  • Def Jam, Astralwerks Launch Label Divisions

    Def Jam, Astralwerks Launch Label Divisions in South East Asia

    Universal Music Group today announced what it calls a significant expansion of its recorded music operations across South East Asia with the launch of two new label divisions: Def Jam South East Asia, to focus on the hip-hop scene within the region, and Astralwerks Asia, a label “with a true focus on nurturing talent within Asia across [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content