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It’s official. Ryan Seacrest returns to host ‘American Idol’ on ABC

I remember the first time I saw Ryan Seacrest step on the stage for Disney. It was the farewell season of the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland and Seacrest was filming on Main Street USA for a TV special. Later he would return to host both the “Disneyland 2000: 45 Years of Magic” documentary and the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade from 2005 to 2009. Then, of course, there was the American Idol Experience, which he helped open in 2009 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now he’s back in the Disney family as the returning host for “American Idol.”

A household name from his decades on radio and television as an award-winning host and producer, Ryan Seacrest is confirmed to host the beloved music competition series “American Idol” for its first season on ABC. Seacrest had a long run with “Idol,” having served as host for the franchise since its inception in 2002.

“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.”

Since first stepping onto the iconic “Idol” stage, Seacrest has become a fixture in pop culture and media, most recently signing on as co-host and an executive producer of Disney|ABC’s top-rated, 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.

“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. Please visit for more details on specific audition locations, full eligibility requirements, submission forms, terms and conditions.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin along with co-executive producer, Megan Wolflick. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

Previously: You can audition for American Idol right now

1 thought on “It’s official. Ryan Seacrest returns to host ‘American Idol’ on ABC”

  1. This is truly one of those “if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” kind of deals.

    I don’t think there a huge clamoring for a re-boot of the very tired A.I. especially when it only went off the air last year.
    ABC/Disney has really missed the mark here. They are going to pour millions into a reboot of a franchise from a rival network that was tanking in the ratings and had little success in creating “stars” beyond the handful of people that have had any modicum of success at the start of the show. (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson -who didn’t even win- a lesser extent Clay Aiken, and Fantasia)

    Ultimately a show or two of decent quality currently on the schedule will get bumped to the hole created by the surprising cancellation of Last Man Standing and Dr. Ken on Fridays where those shows can wither and die. Probably a Sunday 8PM slot probably for this show that will get beat out by Sunday Night Football, anything on Fox or CBS and for what? It’s not a money saving deal. Between what the host and judges are getting paid, cost of running auditions etc, its no cheaper than a series with actual actors, actual writing and could generate actual interest is what’s needed. Not a show that no one wanted to watch last year, and won’t watch next.

    So if a show airs and no one watches, is it really a show?

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