Ryan Seacrest is confirmed to return as host of American Idol for its first season on ABC. Kelly Ripa announced it today on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” Seacrest had a long run with “Idol,” having served as host for the franchise since its inception in 2002.
Seacrest recently signed on as co-host and an executive producer of Disney|ABC’s nationally syndicated Live with Kelly and Ryan, which he will continue to host from New York. Seacrest also hosts and executive produces ABC’s annual live show, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
Seacrest will also continue hosting and executive producing “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” his market-topping No. 1 nationally syndicated L.A. morning drive-time radio show for iHeartMedia’s 102.7 KIIS-FM, as well as a nationally syndicated Top 40 radio show from his iHeart studio at New York’s ABC7, home of “Live.”
Now, with American Idol at its new home, Seacrest will help reinvigorate the series that pioneered a new genre of television, staying true to the heart of the show by sharing inspiring stories and turning dreams into reality.
“It’s genuinely hard to put into words what ‘American Idol’ means to me,” said Seacrest. “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.”
“We are thrilled to be ushering in this new era of ‘American Idol’ with Ryan at the helm,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “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.”
Trish Kinane, president of Entertainment Programming, FremantleMedia North America, executive producer and showrunner of American Idol, said, “American Idol is back and already on the road searching to find the next generation of superstars. Idol has always been about the contestants and the music, and we couldn’t be more excited to start this next chapter – first with the incredibly talented new judge, Katy Perry, and now our own series icon, Ryan Seacrest. We’re delighted that he’s joining us and ABC as we set out to uncover the amazing talent America has to offer.”
“‘Idol’ wouldn’t be ‘Idol’ without Ryan,” said Core Media Group CEO Peter Hurwitz. “He is a natural who has been there from the start, shines on live television and has dominated in every one of his professional endeavors. The show’s millions of devoted fans will be delighted to welcome him back to center stage on ABC.”
The nationwide search for the next superstar kicks off on Thursday, August 17, as the Idol Bus tour jumps into gear across America, offering hopefuls the chance to audition for a shot at superstardom. Visit www.americanidol.com for more details on specific audition locations, full eligibility requirements, submission forms, terms and conditions.