×

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

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.

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.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Queen and Adam Lambert Live

    How the Queen + Adam Lambert Tour Brought the Opera to Arenas

    Just as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the biopic of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, wowed moviegoers last year, stage design firm Stufish Entertainment Architects has helped Queen + Adam Lambert’s current U.S. tour deliver a screen spectacular of its own. The tour, which plays New Orleans on Aug. 20 and Atlanta on Aug. 22, touched down at [...]

  • Mass Appeal and Universal Launch Hip-Hop

    Nas, Mass Appeal and Universal Music Launch Hip-Hop Label in India, Sign Divine

    Mass Appeal and Universal Music Group today announced the launch of Mass Appeal India – a new label dedicated to amplifying India’s burgeoning hip-hop culture on a global scale. The new label’s operations will be based Universal Music India’s headquarters in Mumbai and will function as a multi-channel partnership between the two companies. According to the announcement, Mass Appeal India will sign and [...]

  • Trey Anastasio of Phish performs at

    Phish Concert Camp Out Canceled Due to Plague-Infected Prairie Dogs

    The plague, or Black Death, decimated the European population in medieval times and has returned to ruin Phish concert-goers’ camping plans. The band announced Tuesday that camping and vending will be canceled for their Labor Day weekend performance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce, Colo. due to concerns of plague-infected colonies of prairie dogs. [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs for Screens: 'American Horror Story' Makes 'Suddenly Last Summer' Sizzle Again

    FX Network’s “American Horror Story” returns for a ninth season next month, and promos for the next chapter of the anticipated series, dubbed ‘AHS 1984,’ have been airing frequently across cable television throughout August. In the short yet effective spot (see below), the Motels’ melancholic, moody “Suddenly Last Summer” plays as aerial footage of an [...]

  • Edge, left, Adam Clayton, and Bono

    New York’s PlayStation Theater to Close (EXCLUSIVE)

    New York’s PlayStation Theater, a 2,100-capacity venue located in Times Square and operated by Bowery Presents, will close at the end of 2019, a source close to the situation tells Variety. The venue will close with a New Year’s series of shows from the Disco Biscuits. The theater, which is located two stories beneath the [...]

  • Jonas Leijonhufvud and Sven Carlsson

    Yellow Bird U.K. Developing 'Spotify Untold' Limited Series

    Yellow Bird U.K. has optioned the screen rights to tell-all book “Spotify Untold” with plans to develop it into a limited series for television. Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud’s novel details the story behind the Swedish start-up which became one of the world’s leading music services and its attempts to take on U.S. giants including [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content