As ‘American Idol’ looks to cut costs in season three, a judge shakeup is a possibility. JLo and Steven Tyler will be asked back to their old jobs if a new panel’s put in place.
The good news for American Idol fans is that ABC renewed it for a third season despite not so meteoric ratings. The bad news is that it needs to trim costs and the current judging panel could be seeing a big shakeup. Pop star Katy Perry, 33, reportedly rakes in a cool $25 million per season, Country superstar Luke Bryan, 42, reportedly pulls in $12 million and music legend Lionel Richie, 69, reportedly gets a $10 million salary. “American Idol wants all the current judges to return but just at a much cheaper price. Producers know they also have to put out feelers for new judges if they can’t make a deal with the current ones,” a source close to the show tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY.
Since few people would be thrilled to do the same job for less than they’re currently making, that means producers could be looking for a whole new judging panel that could be put in place for season three. “They will leave no stone unturned and will ask so many people including past judges. Producers feel it would be far-fetched to get past judges back but they will still try,” our insider continues.
“Producers are throwing their hats everywhere because they don’t want to be caught with their pants down when they have to start filming again. So they will ask Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler for sure if things get to that point. Granted Jen has World of Dance and so much on her plate and Steven has the Aerosmith Vegas residency. It is (AI production company) Freemantle who loved their dynamic and if Luke, Lionel and Katy don’t come back they will be the first two to be asked,” our source adds. JLo wouldn’t come cheap. Even though she proved to be a popular judge when she joined the show while it was still on FOX in 2011, it was estimated she earned anywhere between $12-$20 million per season during her tenure there.
For Luke’s part, he’d like to see the current panel come back for season three. “We have had an amazing two years,” Luke told HollywoodLife and other media outlets at the Idol finale on May 19. “Its feels like this year we came in and — when you just look at the overall approach — we had a clearer vision and developed our identity and our role. We want to keep that going. We are proud of what people at home are watching.”