Michael Becker / FOX
Michael Becker / FOX
For those of you hoping Paula Abdul's departure from American Idol is only due to a temporary hiccup in negotiations and that all will be as it was come January...
Sorry, more bad news.
The "Straight Up" singer's manager tells the Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker blog that his client has been talking to every network but Fox as she considers various post-Idol opportunities.
While they "would never count anything out," so far there have been "no discussions whatsoever about Idol," manager David Sonenberg said.
Fox had no comment when E! News came calling, but Sonenberg denies a new report that the network has organized focus groups to better gauge audiences' reaction to the program post-Paula.
"It's clear she's got an enormous number of fans—people want her to be on [Idol] or any other show," he said. "She's got to deliver the goods, but assuming she does, she's got an audience who's prepared to listen."
Wherever Abdul chooses to lead them, that is.
"I think you're going to be seeing a lot of Paula, sometimes as an executive producer, sometimes as a performer or mentor and sometimes as a creative developer," Sonenberg said.
While rumor has it that Abdul walked when producers failed to match her salary demands (which were inching into the eight-figure territory where Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest live), sources insist to RadarOnline.com that Fox will take drastic fiscal measures to ensure Abdul's return should those test audiences indicate it would be prudent to do so.
But according to Sonenberg, Abdul's got plenty of other fish to fry in the meantime—and talking to Fox isn't out of the question with regard to other shows. (Although he says Abdul isn't currently considering a guest-judging spot on So You Think You Can Dance. Boo.)
"She feels fabulous. She feels free," Sonenberg said. "I think in some ways she was typecast in Idol and she was kind of restricted from doing anything she wanted to do and now she's free to decide. She really is very excited about the future and that there's support for her."
Remember the 2009 American Idol Finale, when everyone was friends?