Scoop: Paula Abdul's “Idol” Deal Still Up In the Air

“American Idol” auditions are just two weeks away, and a deal for judge Paula Abdul has at best, stalled, and at worst is all but D.O.A.

“There’s an offer on the table, but it’s not one that Paula is happy with,” said a source close to the singer. “She sees the big money Ryan Seacrest got, she knows that Simon is close to a huge deal, too. She feels like it’s personal that she’s not getting the same big numbers,” said the source. (Abdul’s manager, David Sonenberg, did not return calls for comment.)

Some wonder if Abdul’s past difficult behavior might have something to do with the pace at which things are moving. “There are times where she’d be running late, times when she’d be tired of traveling, there were times, frankly, when it seemed like she could be on the verge of quitting,” says a former assistant of Abdul’s. “I’m sure she has never wanted to leave the show in a literal sense, but sometimes there is that appearance.”

Sources close to “Idol” have said that the show says they will walk away from Abdul if she can’t agree to their offer, but that might not totally be the case. “They know she’s irreplaceable, to walk away would be at most, a ratings disaster, at the least, a frightening prospect going into the next season,” according to a source close to the production.

19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia, which produce “Idol,” both said they had “no comment.”

Propofol and Jackson: what the latest news means
After weeks of talk about Michael Jackson’s possible use of propofol, Dateline’s Josh Mankiewicz confirmed that a law official source said Jackson’s personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray administered propofol to Jackson. Until a toxicology report is released, what role it might have had in his death remains unclear.

Jackson’s personal nurse and nutritionist Cherilyn Lee said she was convinced Jackson had taken the drug before. “I know for a fact he did; I knew it when he asked me for Diprivan,” she said during a recent phone conversation. “He knew too much about it, how it was administered, what it would do. At that point, he just wanted to sleep.”

Fox supports ‘Family Guy’ abortion episode, but won’t air it
A new episode of “Family Guy” tackles the topic of abortion, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever see it air on network television. “Twentieth Century Fox, as always, allowed us to produce the episode and then said, ‘You know what? We’re scared to f--king death of this,’” said “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane during a Comic-Con panel.

So why allow the episode to be produced and not air it? Fox responded to comment request with this statement: “Fox will not air the ‘Partial Terms of Endearment’ episode of ‘Family Guy,’ but we fully support the producers’ right to make the episode and distribute it in whatever way they want to ‘Family Guy’ fans.”

MacFarlane reportedly hinted that the episode could find its way onto a future DVD instead. The celebrity report card has already been issued, but if this had transpired a bit earlier, it would have made an A grade. Kudos to Fox for allowing the episode to be produced; if it lands on DVD, that’s likely the best call. Why? Not releasing it would certainly lead to someone leaking at least part, if not all the episode.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.

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