The judging panel and network are brand new, but the man running the on-stage action will be the same when ABC reboots American Idol next year. Confirming long-running rumors, the network announced on Thursday (July 20) that original Idol host Ryan Seacrest has been locked in to his old/new job after months of back-and-forth negotiations.
Seacrest confirmed the news from behind the desk of his latest gig, on the syndicated ABC talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan. Returning to the role he originated in 2002 that made him a global star, Seacrest said he’s excited to be back in the Idol fold.
“It’s genuinely hard to put into words what ‘American Idol’ means to me,” said Seacrest in a statment provided by ABC. “I’m so grateful for the show and all the career and life opportunities it’s allowed me to experience. It’s been an incredible journey from day one. To be asked to return this year, at my new home at Disney|ABC, is an honor, if not a bit surreal. I believe ABC is the perfect home for ‘Idol,’ and I’ve every confidence the show’s legions of fans will love it — especially ‘Idol’’s best traditions of showcasing heartwarming stories, remarkable talent discovery, and, best of all, making dreams come true.”
In addition to continuing to host the morning show with Kelly Ripa from New York, Seacrest will also stay on as host and executive producer of ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, as well as hosting and executive producing his nationally syndicated morning drive-time radio show “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” and his nationally syndicated Top 40 radio show from the New York- based iHeart Radio studio at ABC7.
“We are thrilled to be ushering in this new era of ‘American Idol’ with Ryan at the helm,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment in a statement. “So much of American Idol‘s overwhelming success can be attributed to Ryan, whose larger-than-life personality and laudable dedication to creating quality entertainment has made him a true master of his craft. His talent is limitless, and I can’t think of a more appropriate person to honor the ‘Idol’ legacy as it takes on new life than the man who has been there through it all.”
Idol producers are already gearing up to hit the road looking for talent for the reboot of the show, which will feature Katy Perry as a judge; no other judges have been confirmed so far. The nationwide search for the next Idol begins on Aug. 17 when the Idol Bus tour starts its journey across the nation. Visit www.americanidol.com for more details on specific audition locations, full eligibility requirements, submission forms, terms and conditions.