"American Idol" has been one of the most successful reality competition shows of all time — until now.
The show that once made billions of dollars in profits will actually lose money in its current 13th season, multiple sources connected with the show tell TMZ.
The projected losses are a result of sky-high salaries and decreased ratings. This week, the Olympics pushed "Idol" ratings to a record low with 9.2 million viewers.
Here's a breakdown of the show's massive current costs, per TMZ:
- Judge Jennifer Lopez's salary: North of $15 million. (MailOnline reports Lopez made $17.5 million deal to return to her judge post a third season. She is considered the bigger star on the judges panel which also includes singers Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.)
- Host Ryan Seacrest's salary: North of $15 million
- New set: Between $5 and $7 million
- Viewer phone calls: $5 million
- They are also still paying the salaries of two executive producers who were fired last season.
And with ratings down 26% from last season, so are advertising dollars.
Yet despite the financial loss, don't expect "Idol" to be axed from the airwaves anytime soon.
TMZ reports the show will be back for a 14th season next year thanks to Simon Cowell's other baby, "X Factor," getting cancelled — leaving plenty of Fox airtime for "Idol."
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