Ryan Seacrest reportedly had a “secret” meeting with ABC executives earlier this week to sort out any outstanding issues ahead of signing on as the host of ABC’s American Idol reboot. Sources familiar with the situation told TMZ that the ongoing discussions and negotiations for Seacrest to become the host of the reboot hadreached an advanced stage.
Multiple media reports confirmed that Seacrest agreed to a salary between $10 million and $15 million to return as American Idol host. However, negotiations became deadlocked when ABC refused Seacrest’s request for the status of executive producer in addition to other duties.
According to TMZ, although progress was made toward resolving the conflict during the latest meeting earlier this week, the issue has not been fully resolved. However, sources said it was likely that the parties would reach a compromise soon enough.
TMZ’s sources effectively confirmed the 42-year-old TV personality’s recent statement in an interview with Variety that he was “sorting through the details” with ABC. In the interview with Variety, Seacrest also talked about possible tweaks to the show to update it for 2017.
Seacrest had previously hosted 15 seasons of American Idol on Fox.
“I love the show. I have great affection for the show. I think the show will be tremendously successful on ABC.”
Ryan Seacrest Secret 'American Idol' Meeting, Lionel Richie and Nikki Sixx Targeted Judges https://t.co/6GijYQbPlA— TMZ (@TMZ) June 28, 2017
The sources revealed that ABC was reluctant to grant Seacrest’s request for the status of executive producer after they refused a previous request by Katy Perry who signed for a whopping $25 million.
However, Katy Perry has expressed satisfaction with the deal reached last month, saying that she was “honored and thrilled to be the first judge bringing back the American Idol tradition of making dreams come true for incredible talents with authentic personalities and real stories.”
“I’m always listening to new music, and love discovering diamonds in the rough,” she continued. “From mentoring young artists on my label, or highlighting new artists on my tours, I want to bring it back to the music.”
Music icon Lionel Richie, 68, also reportedly had a “secret meeting” with American Idol producers this week in a bid for one of two available judging positions on the ABC reboot. The former Commodores star reportedly had a two-hour meeting with ABC executives earlier this week to discuss his prospects for a position as a judge.
American Idol producers and ABC are reportedly keen on having Lionel Richie on the panel of judges, and sources said it was very likely that a deal would be reached to sign him on for pay in the range of $3-5 million.
Sources with knowledge of what transpired at the “secret meeting” said Richie made a great impression with the producers who believed that based on his background, experience, and “nice guy” personality, he would make a perfect “nice judge type.”
However, the sealing of the deal with Richie is being delayed until ABC and producers finalize the details of the deal with Seacrest.
TMZ’s sources also revealed that American Idol producers are interested in having Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue on the panel as the third judge, but he is expected to get even less than Lionel Richie.
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