Britney Spears is reportedly close to finalizing a deal to become a judge and mentor on Simon Cowell's FOX series "The X Factor," following the departures of Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger earlier this year.
In March, it was reported that the 30-year-old pop star had received a $10 million offer to join the show. Deadline.com reported on Tuesday that Spears is now poised to earn more than that and "the two sides are now headed for the final stretch after a big breakthrough over the weekend when major deal points were agreed upon."
Entertainment Weekly said on Wednesday, April 11, that Spears is "in final-stage negotiations" to join the show and has "reportedly haggled a $15 million payout for the gig," which is more than the estimated $12 million Jennifer Lopez earns per season for co-judging FOX's "American Idol," Cowell's former series.
Representatives for Spears, FOX and Cowell's production company have declined to comment about the matter.
Spears is enjoying a comeback following years of turmoil. Her fiance and former manager, Jason Trawick, appears to be set to become her co-conservator. Spears' attorney made the request on Friday and a judge will consider it later this month. Her father, Jamie, has been managing her financial affairs since she suffered a 2007 meltdown that saw her shaving her own head at a salon (see video).
Cowell has said that he learned his lesson from the first season of "The X Factor," which delivered lower ratings than those earned by "American Idol," which had featured him as a judge from its 2002 debut to 2010. "The X Factor" debuted on FOX last fall and averaged around 13 million viewers. January's season 11 premiere of "American Idol" was watched by more than 21 million.
It was announced in January that Paula Abdul, who had also served as a judge on "American Idol" with Cowell, and Nicole Scherzinger would not return to "The X Factor." Host Steve Jones was also booted.
Cowell has praised Spears in the past. MTV quoted him as saying he believes she would find working on "The X Factor" to be a "walk in the park," adding: "I would be fascinated to hear what she has to say. She's still hot, she's still having hit records and she's still controversial."
Auditions for season 2 of "The X Factor" are now underway.
"Yes, the $5M prize is back," Cowell Tweeted in February. "We have a few surprises to announce soon."
Cowell also said he loves "the rivalry between all the music shows," referring to "American Idol" and NBC's breakout hit, "The Voice."The singing contest series is on its second season and is enjoying top ratings.
Its judges are singers Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera, who was depicted as Spears' rival in the early 2000s, when they rose to fame as pop stars. The two co-starred on "The All New Mickey Mouse Club" as children.
"Maybe the winner of @TheXFactorUSA this yr should compete with winner of 'The Voice' & 'Idol' in a super final," Cowell added. "Just a thought. I'd be up for it."