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 during formal presentation Tuesday at Lincoln Center.
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.
“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.
“I am honored and thrilled to be the first judge bringing back the American Idol tradition of making dreams come true for incredible talents with authentic personalities and real stories,” said Perry. “I’m always listening to new music, and love discovering diamonds in the rough – from mentoring young artists on my label, or highlighting new artists on my tours, I want to bring it back to the music.”
Added ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, who made the announcement Tuesday: “We are thrilled to be ushering in this new era of American Idol with Katy leading the charge. Her incredible accolades speak for themselves. We are so lucky to have this strong and talented woman help inspire and guide the next crop of artists as they pursue their dreams.”