Just a little over a week away from the new season of American Idol… and already we’re talking about the next season? That’s where we begin tonight’s roundup. Dim the lights, and here we go!
Is Ryan Seacrest staying on as host next year? Fox bosses want that to happen, but at the network’s presentation at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Los Angeles, they admit that talks to get him back are going to be harder. Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly thinks there will be “a tough negotiation,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, but “it’s very hard to imagine the show without Ryan. We certainly want to keep him.”
Several reports last week have claimed that Fox is trying to get Seacrest to get a pay cut from next season. (The last deal he signed, two years ago, earns him $15 million a year.) Insiders have told THR that Seacrest’s camp is frustrated over the lack of direction over his future on Idol, but things might change now that there’s talk of him taking over for Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today.
Elsewhere in the Idol-sphere, and still on the TCA tour:
The Idol producers are getting feisty against NBC’s The Voice: “They cast their show; we hold open calls,” Idol EP Cecil Frot-Coutaz said, according to TVLine. Judge Randy Jackson is saying that Idol “will never, ever rip off Star Trek like The Voice did with the chairs.” EP Ken Warwick adds: “this is the show that produces the stars,” after Jackson pointed out that last year’s Voice winner Javier Colon had a previous record deal with Capitol Records.
As for news that first Idol winner Kelly Clarkson will be mentoring Team Blake on The Voice this season, Fox’s reality boss Mike Darnell called the move “a compliment to Idol. We’re not hiring a lot of people from The Voice to be on our show.” Cat fight?
Also, more details on Idol‘s audition rounds: the “performance challenge” round is the Las Vegas round, and will feature songs from the 1950s. And then there’s the Green Mile (the hangar!) which will feature “one voice, one instrument”. So more stripped-down performances, then?
David Archuleta is headed to the Philippines, and it’s not for a concert: the Idol runner-up is joining a primetime soap on Philippine network TV5, reports the Sun-Star. I think it’s pretty odd timing — he recently announced that he’s going on a full-time Mormon mission, which means he might be out for two years at the most. Still, not that surprised, since Archie’s done pretty well in the Southeast Asia market. He’s expected to arrive in Manila later this week; no further details are available about his new show.
Steven Tyler’s wedding is coming really soon: the Idol judge told TMZ that he’s tying the knot with Erin Brady sooner rather than later. Maybe in time for the live shows?
Finally, since we’ve been talking about Kelly Clarkson, why not watch her performance from Saturday Night Live over the weekend?
More updates over on the American Idol Insider on Facebook!
(Image courtesy of Fox)