Ryan Seacrest is reportedly sulking over ABC’s financial offer for him to host next year’s reboot of “American Idol.” And, apparently, Katy Perry is to blame. According to a Page 6 report in the New York Post, Perry said during an interview with iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU New York (103.5) that she was earning $25 million to be a first-time “Idol” judge, dwarfing Seacrest’s offer.
Seacrest’s alleged ABC paycheck if he were to sign on for the first season is just over $10 million.
Richard Rushfield, author of “American Idol: The Untold Story,” wrote in a newsletter, as reported by the Post, “[Seacrest] was suddenly asking himself why he would come back for a 16th season at a salary [much smaller than that] of the newcomer judge.” He added that since Seacrest is already employed in New York at “Live With Kelly & Ryan,” and “Idol” would require weekly cross-country trips to L.A., he “has grown notably cooler on the prospect.”
Seacrest spends most of the week in New York for the “Live” gig, continuing to host morning drive at iHeartMedia CHR KIIS-FM Los Angeles (102.7) and his syndicated “On Air” midday show from a new radio studio at the WABC-TV studios where “Live” tapes.
Variety added to the story, reporting that producers and the network have not come close to sealing a deal with Seacrest to return as host. “Seacrest had been in talks to rejoin the series since before ABC even made the revival official.” Meanwhile sources tell Variety that Perry’s price tag would represent 65% of the budget earmarked for talent. No additional judges have signed on.
An ABC spokesman said: “We don’t comment on negotiations or salary.” And a network insider told the Post, “Perry is not getting $25 million.” ABC moved quickly to lock in Perry after “American Idol” season one champion Kelly Clarkson—who had been in talks to return to the show as a judge—signed on to “The Voice” as a coach for its season 14.