According to Variety's Cynthia Littleton, the network is interested in keeping Idol on its schedule, even though it has performed "credibly but not spectacularly for ABC this season." Idol's second season on ABC has averaged 8.9 million viewers. Littleton reports ABC and FremantleMedia North America have only recently started negotiations on possible new talent deals for judges Katy Perry -- who makes an "eye-popping" $25 million a year -- Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. Littleton adds: "ABC is said to be pushing for across the board cost reductions, including but not limited to the paychecks of key talent. Idol host Ryan Seacrest is believed to be under a long-term deal."