Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

hey paula

Vulture Learns That Paula Abdul Has Finally Picked a Post-Idol Reality Series

CBS has won the Paula Abdul lottery: Vulture has confirmed that the former American Idol judge, who has been mentioned in connection with countless new shows but up until now committed to none, has signed a deal to join the Eye network's future reality contest, Got to Dance. She'll be lead judge and executive producer of the mash-up of So You Think You Can Dance and America's Got Talent, which is based on a show of the same name that aired earlier this year on Britain's Sky TV.

But after all this wooing, she finally picked a suitor. Is it because her guest appearance on the Idol finale is fast appearing, and she wanted to show the old gang that she was employable? More likely it's because, in addition to being named exec producer and lead judge of her new show, she's also expected to be positioned as a creative partner, mentor, and coach; essentially, she'll be Got to Dance's Simon Cowell. Translated, this means you can probably believe all those reports about Abdul's reps making serious demands of anyone requiring her services (like needing a private jet to guest star on Ugly Betty).

But after all this wooing, she finally picked a suitor. Is it because her guest appearance on the Idol finale is fast appearing, and she wanted to show the old gang that she was employable? More likely it's because, in addition to being named exec producer and lead judge of her new show, she's also expected to be positioned as a creative partner, mentor, and coach; essentially, she'll be Got to Dance's Simon Cowell. Translated, this means you can probably believe all those reports about Abdul's reps making serious demands of anyone requiring her services (like needing a private jet to guest star on Ugly Betty).

CBS has ordered at least eight episodes of Got to Dance, an insider said. But the show — which differs from SYTYCD in that it allows amateurs of all skill levels and ages to participate — is unlikely to be ready before mid-season 2010–11, in part because CBS's other unscripted shows (including new hit Undercover Boss) are doing so well. Shine Group's Reveille (The Biggest Loser) is producing, and Elisabeth Murdoch — Rupert's offspring — is taking an executive-producer credit.

But Paula finally settling on her first big post-Idol reality-series deal doesn't mean that the X Factor chatter will stop. Vulture has heard that at various points in her discussions with other networks, Abdul's camp (which, as of just a few months ago, now includes high-powered agency UTA) made it clear the star needed to have the flexibility to serve as a coach-judge on X Factor, should she be asked to appear on that show. Such cross-network duties are very rare, however, so it's unclear whether CBS actually agreed to such a provision.

Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage