Katy Perry will indeed be lending her musical criticism to ABC’s American Idol.
ABC, which had hoped to lock up at least some Idol talent for its May 16 upfront presentation, announced Perry as the first judge for the Idol reboot, on stage at its Lincoln Center presentation.
News of Perry’s likely addition broke over the weekend. On the promotional circuit for her upcoming album, she was not entirely coy about the likelihood of joining Idol when she spoke with one-time Idol panelist Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show.
For ABC, Perry’s formal addition is particularly advantageous as it starts securing advertisers for the resurrected singing competition. A-list talent was the top priority at Fox’s version of Idol in its later seasons, a fact that ultimately made the show fiscally unsustainable. But ABC has been vocal about its desire for top tier talent.
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) May 16, 2017
“What you can’t do is come back as bargain-basement Idol,” ABC reality chief Robert Mills recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re going to make sure the talent is right, and we’ll do what we have to [do to] make it bigger and better than ever.”
With the rest of the judging roster likely not matching Perry’s level of fame — this is a woman with nearly 100 million Twitter followers, after all — the most pressing now is if and when ABC will lock in Ryan Seacrest to return as host. The busy TV personality, recently named Kelly Ripa’s full-time co-host, is said to be considering if he can make an Idol return work.
American Idol is being produced for ABC by FremantleMedia and Core Media Group. Previous Idol executive producer Trish Kinane is returning as showrunner.