Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:
- Kathy Griffin has been widely criticized for a gory photo shoot with Donald Trump's (fake) head
- Then she apologized
- But President Trump didn't accept Griffin's apology
- Neither did First Lady Melania Trump
- And now CNN has fired Griffin
- Lebanon has officially banned 'Wonder Woman' over star's Israeli heritage
- Olivia Newton-John has a new cancer diagnosis; her June shows are postponed
"American Idol" is coming back, and heralding its return are a bunch of rumors about who's going to host and who's going to judge.
Most of the talk has been about the hosting gig: Ryan Seacrest is reportedly being considered to reprise his classic "Idol" role as ABC reboots the Fox show, with one outlet saying Seacrest's return to the show has been the plan for a while now.
Another familiar face popping up for the revival is Kelly Clarkson, Fox's first "American Idol" winner. She's interested in a seat at the judges' table and ABC is expressing "serious interest," according to TMZ. Supposedly Clarkson is "clearing her schedule" for the months the show would be in production.
"She was so remarkable and sincere and lovely when she came on at the last season," Seacrest told "Entertainment Tonight" on Wednesday in response to the rumors. "I think she'd make a fantastic judge."
So yeah, back to Seacrest. Whether that's nearly a done deal or just something some folks are chatting about is up for debate, according to Variety. A source described as close to Seacrest said the latter, allowing that "Ryan has a lot of affection for ‘American Idol’ given the show’s significance to his career" but labeling talks as being only "in the early stages."
However, another source, described as an "insider," told Variety the situation was down to the "final tweaks," and TMZ said days ago that the deal between Seacrest and ABC was all the way to "closed."
During "Live With Kelly and Ryan" on Monday — the day before the "Idol" reboot news was officially announced on "Good Morning America" — Seacrest told Kelly Ripa that he'd heard rumors about the show coming back only the week before and played dumb about returning to his former contestant-wrangling duties.
"I said at the end of the series, 'Goodbye for now,' hoping somewhere it would come back," he told Ripa, who enthusiastically encouraged him to re-up as host. She even told him she'd cover for him on "Live" so he could "disconnect" when he had to do "AI," which is a pretty nice favor to do for someone who's been your cohost for less than two weeks.
But there might be a reason for Ripa's unbridled enthusiasm. On Wednesday, a Page Six source painted Seacrest's gee-I-don't-know act as a cover for what's really going on.
“This isn’t some spur-of-the-moment deal," an "insider" told the New York Post's gossip column. "It’s a part of his move to ABC."
"It’s a no-brainer," the source continued. "He took the job for ‘Idol’ and to host ‘Live.’ It’s the only way ABC could pay him enough money to come over."
Seacrest's trademark phrase, by the way, is pinned at the top of the official "American Idol" Twitter page.