ABC's revival of singing competition series "American Idol" hasn't exactly been a ratings juggernaut, but it's performed well enough that the network wants to keep it around for another year: The show has been renewed for a third season (its 18th season overall, following its previous 15 on Fox).
But according to Variety, that renewal also comes with a lot of uncertainty, as ABC is hoping to reduce costs on the pricey production during its next outing. One apparent bone of contention, the trade reports, is the price tag of the judging panel, which consists of Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan.
The trio of music superstars all command high salaries, chief among them Perry, who reportedly rakes in $25 million per season. Apparently, that's just too high for ABC.
"An individual with knowledge of the negotiations said that offers have been made to all three to return but it remains to be seen if they will sign on again," Variety reports. "Host Ryan Seacrest is believed to be under a long-term deal."
It's too bad if Perry's paycheck is what stands in the way of her returning for "Idol" season three, though we wouldn't begrudge her walking away. She's an A-list musician, after all, and her time comes with a price. (Maybe she can join "Idol" alum Kelly Clarkson on "The Voice" instead? Her judging experience would no doubt make her an excellent mentor on that series.)
Stay tuned to see how all this shakes out.