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ABC and the producers of American Idol” are reportedly at odds about the racial makeup of its still-unsettled judging panel.

So far, only Katy Perry has been confirmed for the rebooted show (for a reported $25 million payday). And according to TMZ, Luke Bryan is close to signing a contract to sit beside her.

At issue, the website reports is the third judge. Sources connected to the production tell us Fremantle wants Charlie Puth, but ABC believes there must be racial diversity on the panel.

Via TMZ:

We’re told the network continues to have its eye on Lionel Richie, who has been in play for several months. So far, we’re told there’s a standoff, but someone’s gotta blink because they’re almost ready to begin filming with the judges.

And this is interesting … we’re told Fremantle has taken a meeting with Troy Carter, a super manager of performers like John Legend, Nelly, Meghan Trainor, Miguel and Lady Gaga. He’s also one of the initial, big investors in Spotify. We’re told one of the reasons Carter may be appealing … if ABC wins on the diversity issue, Carter wouldn’t come with as big a price tag as Lionel, and the budget is almost blown.

Regarding that blown budget, returning host Ryan Seacrest is reportedly being paid $10-15 million.

Also, the sticking point with Richie’s team is reportedly asking around $10 million, which is double what the show is willing to pay, according to TMZ.

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