It’s official – Ryan Seacrest will return as the host of American Idol.
During his morning gig on Live with Kelly and Ryan, Seacrest and his co-host, Kelly Ripa, revealed the exciting news to fans.
“It’s genuinely hard to put into words what American Idol means to me,” Seacrest said in a statement (quote via People). “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.”
The news of Idol’s revival on ABC came just days after Seacrest joined the Live morning talk show, causing question over whether or not he’d be able to lead the revival. Ripa voiced her support for him to bounce between the two jobs, saying this morning that Seacrest is the “heart and soul of that show.”
Executives at ABC decided to revive the reality singing competition after a year’s hiatus from FOX. Presently, the network has signed on Katy Perry as a judge, who has been eager for Seacrest to return as host.
The show has yet to announce its final two judges, but several names were tossed around following the confirmation of its return. Kelly Clarkson, who won the inaugural season of Idol, was floating around as a possibility for a coach, until it was announced that she’d be joining NBC’s The Voice. Original judge Simon Cowell’s name was also thrown into the ring, but due to an exclusive deal with NBC and America’s Got Talent, he was quickly eliminated to return.
No word on when ABC will make its final American Idol judging decisions, but the show is expected to return in early 2018.