Beyond Judges: 'American Idol' Rumored For Major Downsizing

Beyond Judges: 'American Idol' Rumored For Major Downsizing Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are leaving Fox's "American Idol" apparently of their own volition.

Others may not make exits quite so ceremonious, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

THR claims that with ratings making a 25-percent slip during the eleventh season, and still drawing around 20 million tune-ins, ad revenue remains down. Sources say that's ushering in reduced staff, budget cuts and trimmed salaries to keep the show viable.

Advertising rates for the previous season reportedly hovered between $468,100 and $502,900 for a 30-second spot of airtime. Despite being a decrease, those rates were second-highest only to ESPN's Sunday Night Football rates. Each episode costs Fox and Fremantle roughly $2 million to produce.

Since word of Tyler and Lopez's exits broke, so too has word of the current considered replacements - none of them exactly falling in line with the reported more economical production model. Katy Perry has already denied interest in filling a vacant seat, but that still leaves rumored potentials Fergie, Will.I.Am, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus and most recently, Mariah Carey.

Keep also in mind, original "Idol" judge Randy Jackson hasn't yet signed a new deal for the upcoming season himself. Also, host Ryan Seacrest just inked a far-from-cheap deal that pays him roughly $15 million per season over the next two seasons.

Lopez's departure alone frees up considerable cash flow. J.Lo was earning roughly $15-20 million per season for her two-year stint, and reportedly wanted a third raise in the wake of Britney Spears signing a lucrative deal to co-judge "The X Factor" alongside Demi Lovato, Antonio "L.A." Reid and original "Idol" judge Simon Cowell.

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