'American Idol': ABC and Producers Are in Heated War Over Racial Diversity on Judges Panel

Freemantle reportedly has taken a meeting with Troy Carter, one of big investors in Spotify as well as a super manager for the likes of John Legend and Meghan Trainor.

AceShowbiz - Now that "American Idol" has locked down on Luke Bryan, ABC and Freemantle reportedly are trying to find the third judge. And again, things don't go smoothly as sources say that they have their own favorite to fill the spot.

TMZ reports that Freemantle, which co-owns the show, thinks that Charlie Puth is a better choice for the gig, joining Luke and Katy Perry. However, the Alphabet believes there must be racial diversity on the panel.

ABC reportedly is eyeing Lionel Richie. But it remains to be seen whether Lionel will take the job since previous reports suggested that Lionel was no longer in the running.

The outlet further suggests that Freemantle has approached Troy Carter, a super manager for the likes of John Legend, Meghan Trainor, Miguel and Lady GaGa. As Troy is one of the initial, big investors in Spotify, it makes him the most possible candidate to sit on the judge panel alongside Luke and Katy.

Hiring Troy will also solve the problem with ABC, who wants a racial diversity on the judge panel. In addition, Troy reportedly will not come with as big a price tag as Lionel, and the budget is almost blown.

At this point, it is unclear who will fill the last spot on the panel. Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian were also reportedly being eyed for the gig, considering their enormous impact on social media.

"American Idol" is set to return in March 2018 on ABC, premiering shortly after the Oscars. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the show is said to be airing on Sunday and Monday nights, though it remains to be seen whether it will be on the network's primetime schedule.

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