American Idol season 18 renewal in play; could the judges return?

American IdolIn case you are wondering why there is no American Idol season 18 renewal at the moment over at ABC, there’s a simple reason for that. As of right now, it seems as though money and finances are a key part of the equation.

According to a new report from Variety, there are negotiations currently going on behind the scenes to keep the show going, but cutting costs are going to be an essential part of it. Apparently, right now someone at ABC is starting to figure out that it was probably not the best idea to give Katy Perry more than $20 million a season may not have been the best move. Sure, she did give a lot of credibility to the show and a big-time pop music presence, but this is the sort of thing that can easily metaphorically bleed the show out.

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Ultimately, there are two different strategies that American Idol could take here, with the first one being seeing if it is possible to cut salaries for a number of the key players including some of the judges; or, they may have to bring in some new judges altogether. Personally, we know that there are other pop stars that the show could bring in, but a big part of the challenge here is that everyone is going to use Perry’s oft-discussed salary as a benchmark for what they should be getting moving forward. That’s the problem with spending the sort of money the show did. If you want to give her more than $20+ million a year, won’t some other musicians at least demand $15 million to be a part of it?

One way or another, we do think that the show will figure things out — while having famous judges is important, it’s not essential. Remember that the original American Idol had two judges in Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell who weren’t exactly household names when they first joined. Instead, it was about producing entertainment, and also having a judge in Simon who would give people a harsh dose of reality. For those who think the panel is too nice now, that is another interesting direction that they could opt to take over the next few years.

Ultimately, we’ll have some further news as it comes out — but, we do think that there will be another season of American Idol when the dust ultimately settles.

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