Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul & Randy Jackson Heading Back to AMERICAN IDOL Judge's Panel?
The National Inquirer is reporting that original American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are being wooed by FOX to return to the judge's panel for the upcoming 14th season, according to TV industry insiders. The action is an attempt to boost ratings for the struggling singing competition, once a ratings juggernaut for the network.
"In the past, the producers had always pooh-poohed the idea of asking them back," said a source close to the FOX competition. "But after last season's ratings debacle, execs felt they had to do something drastic. So they're going with the tried-and-true threesome in hopes that the show can go out with a bang."
The three original judges appeared on the first eight seasons of the show, considered by many to be the height of "Idol's" popularity. The show first hit the airwaves in 2002, and was the highest-rated television show of all time for seven straight years.
Over the course of the last few seasons, ratings for the show have been in steady decline, while new singing competitions such as NBC's 'The Voice' have gained popularity. Despite this season's new and kinder judges panel, consisting of Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., ratings hit an all-time low.
Simon Cowell, who departed "Idol" in 2010 to take on the U.S. version of "The X Factor," saw his show canceled this year after just three seasons. Paula Abdul, who left the show in 2010, became a judge on "Live to Dance," another project which quickly fizzled. Jackson, who remained on Idol, was barely seen this season as he took on the new position of 'mentor'.
According to today's report, FOX made the original judges "offers they couldn't refuse" with Cowell being tempted with a whopping $15 million for the season, and Paula being offered twice her original salary.
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