×
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.”

More Music

  • Karen O

    Karen O & Danger Mouse Talk ‘Lux Prima,’ Perform at New York Times Event

    “We’re gonna do one more song…” Karen O said at her and Danger Mouse’s performance and chat in New York Wednesday night, “… and then comes the hard part, which is talking about music.” She was probably inadvertently paraphrasing the age-old adage that attempting to write about music is like “dancing about architecture,” but the [...]

  • Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend Roger Daltrey,

    Why Aren't the Who Playing Woodstock 50?

    Whither the Who? That’s a big question for anyone perusing the Woodstock 50 lineup and noticing that the biggest act from the original 1969 lineup that is still around and active is not on the bill. The timing might have even seemed fortuitous, since the band recently announced plans for a 29-city American tour this [...]

  • KCRW

    KCRW Moves Into New Headquarters as Star DJ Jason Bentley Mulls His Future

    Influential public radio station KCRW has finally left the basement and entered its new home: a sparkling, 34,000-square-foot, three-story $21.7 million glass structure on the campus of Santa Monica College. Part of a $115 million development of its Center for Media and Design, it’s a glittering, shiny and massive step up from its previous studio [...]

  • Dave Matthews Band

    Dave Matthews Band, Mumford & Sons, Kings of Leon to Headline Kaaboo Del Mar Festival

    Kaaboo Del Mar today announced the music and comedy lineups for its fifth annual festival happening September 13-15, 2019. Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band and Mumford & Sons will headline on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, while the lineup is rounded out with artists including Duran Duran, Black Eyed Peas, OneRepublic, Sheryl Crow, Maren [...]

  • Grime Star Stormzy Joins Upcoming BBC

    Rapper Stormzy Joins Roc Nation’s BBC Drama ‘Noughts & Crosses’

    “Noughts and Crosses” just added another musical heavy hitter with grime supremo Stormzy set to star in the adaptation of the Malorie Blackman novels for the BBC. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation is already on board and will exec produce, as will Participant Media. Stormzy has an on-screen role and will play Kolawale, a newspaper editor and [...]

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • 'This Is Us' Composer Siddhartha Khosla

    'This Is Us' Composer Siddhartha Khosla Signs With ASCAP

    Siddhartha Khosla, one of the busiest composers in TV with ongoing assignments for “This Is Us,” “The Kids Are Alright” and “Marvel’s Runaways,” has made the move to ASCAP, the performing-rights organization announced Wednesday. For all of his steady television gigs, “This is Us” remains by far the most prominent, partly because he provides prominent [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content