While we still don’t know officially who will host ABC’s reboot of American Idol, thanks to the Hollywood Reporter, we have an inside look at the negotiations that went on behind the scenes as the network tried to get Ryan Seacrest to sign on to reprise his old job.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ryan got a big-bucks offer to return to host the show. While his actual salary wasn’t confirmed, the publication said he wanted more than his former salary of $10 million, as well as some creative control.
The deal was all but set — so much so that Ryan was involved in specific conversations with the show’s producers and ABC about how they could modernize the show, and also met with Katy Perry and encouraged her to sign on as a judge.
Ryan was supposed to be announced as the show’s host in mid-May, according to the Hollywood Reporter, but when the producers decided to pay Katy Perry $25 million, they went back to Ryan with an offer that was half the size of the first one. Ryan was so upset, says the publication, that his reps asked for his name to be withdrawn from consideration as host.
ABC, which allegedly didn’t know that the producers were low-balling Ryan, freaked out and asked for another chance. The next day, sources tell the Hollywood Reporter, Ryan got a new offer of more than $10 million, and, likely, an executive producer title. He is now “nearing a deal” to come back.
“Who am I,” he asks, “If not the American Idol guy?'”
Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter says that ABC plans to bring Idol back after it airs the Academy Awards in March. Auditions start in August.
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