UPDATE 8:52 PDT: Fox and producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment are confirming Paula Abdul’s departure from "American Idol."
Paula Abdul has been an important part of the AMERICAN IDOL family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she’s a tremendous talent and we wish her the best.
Paula Abdul apparently will not be returning to "American Idol."
The singer/dancer/media personality’s Twitter feed, followed by just under 1 million people, put out a message Tuesday evening delivering the news.
"With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to #IDOL," Abdul, or someone writing under her name, wrote on the microblogging service. "I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all, being a part of a show that I helped from day 1become an international phenomenon.
"What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me," Abdul added. "It truly has been breathtaking, especially over the past month. I do without any doubt have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all."
Abdul and her reps have reportedly been talking to Fox producers of "Idol" for the past couple of months about a rich new deal to keep her as one of four judges on the show. She had been seeking a hefty raise, to perhaps as much as $20 million or more over several years, according to some reports. Abdul’s manager had previously told the Los Angeles Times Fox had been "rude and disrespectful" toward his client.
Abdul’s sudden announcement could be a hint that she may be ready to sign a deal with another network– or, perhaps, a negotiating ploy.
The announcement comes just a day after Fox officially confirmed that Kara DioGuardi had been asked to return for her second season as an "Idol" judge.
Much more importantly, the Los Angeles Times also reported last week that Simon Cowell– the heart of "Idol"– was near a new multiyear deal to stick with "Idol." Fox would want to be able to confirm such a deal in time for its meeting with reporters at the TV Critics Assn. press tour Thursday.
Fox and the show’s producers had previously signed "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest to a massive $15 million per year pact valued at $45 million over three years. However, that deal also includes non-"Idol" work for 19 Entertainment.
The only "Idol" personality not dawg-ed by headlines: The laid-back Randy Jackson. He has one more year left on his contract, according to published reports.
A Fox rep did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Abdul’s statement.