“American Idol” may have lost Paula, but the show is wasting no time locking down its meanest, but arguably, most important judge: Simon Cowell.
Simon will continue with the singing competition for at least three more seasons, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
On an earnings call earlier today, the parent company of “AI” co-producer 19 Entertainment confirmed that Simon is in the process of finalizing a deal with FOX to stay with the series until 2012.
Unlike Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest, whose contracts expired at the end of last season, Simon had one more year to go on his.
He reportedly decided to renegotiate now for the upcoming season, as well as Seasons 10 and 11. Reports claim that he is expected to earn $45 million under the new pact, up from the $36 million a year that he currently makes.
As host, Seacrest is supposedly set to make $45 million, too, over the next three years. And as everyone in the free world now knows, Paula decided to leave the show last week when she and the show couldn’t agree on those dolla dolla bills. (It’s said she rejected a $5 million-a-year offer, and was seeking double that amount.)
FOX also decided to bring back Kara DioGuardi for next season. And the network brass recently announced that stars like Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry will rotate as guest judges during the upcoming season’s audition process, which is currently underway, until it finds a permanent replacement for Paula. They hope that will happen by the time the show returns to the air early next year.
But what about Randy Jackson? This circus may start all over again when the jovial judge’s contract expires next year.
It that okay with you, dawgs?
(Photo courtesy of FOX)