175Now that the “Dancing With the Stars” cast has been announced, and Paula Abdul’s name is not on the list, negotiations between Abdul and Fox for her return to “American Idol” have become more intense.

“The people at the very top of ABC were really vocal about getting her on board for ‘Dancing,’” said a source familiar with the talks with Abdul. “By not exactly keeping it secret, it made Paula’s value more apparent to Fox.”

The negotiations are ongoing, but calling them “talks” could be more appropriate, since dubbing them “negotiations” suggests that one side is budging.

Paula isn’t lowering her price in any meaningful way. She wants a Seacrest-level deal,” said the source. “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest reportedly signed a three-year deal with the show worth a total of $45 million.

If there is a scenario that gets Abdul back on the show, it’s likely that her return would be limited to the live shows only, according to several people who are close to the talks. This will allow the original offer made by the show to stand, but Abdul would have a shorter time commitment.

As far as ABC is concerned, executives are disappointed they couldn’t sign Abdul to “Dancing With the Stars.”

“They actually really needed her as that big name,” said person who had direct knowledge of the talks. “They didn’t really want Tom DeLay as their most-buzzed-about contestant.”