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…