It's been four months since ABC announced that they're bringing "American Idol" back in early 2018. The show then signed Katy Perry for $25 million for the reboot as lead judge. They set the financial bar very high and found it very difficult signing other stars for the remaining two spots as judges for much less money.
And now, according to "Variety," they've finally country superstar Luke Bryan as secured Judge #2. The show initially offered Luke $6 million plus incentives. According to reports, he was holding out for more money because the show was low-balling him. Luke hasn't commented, and he probably won't until the ink dries. No word on yet on amount Luke will be earning or who will be the third judge on the show.
Word is the show reportedly is looking to go with a panel of three judges, instead of four. Lionel Richie, Charlie Puth and former Idol judge Keith Urban all rumored to be in the running for the final spot may be out of the running.
According to TMZ, there's many disagreements between the producers and ABC. Freemantle, the production company, wants to hire Charlie Puth as the final panelist, but ABC says the three must be diverse and their choices were Lionel Richie and mega manager Troy Carter.
Ryan Seacrest, who has hosted every season of the show since its debut in 2002, is back on board and says old reporters this weekend that "an announcement about judges is expected imminently," according to Variety.
American Idol is set to return in early 2018.