The announcement follows speculation on whether Seacrest would be back for another season. In August, ABC revealed judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan would return for the new season, but Seacrest’s name was conspicuously missing. At the summer TCA press tour, ABC’s President of Entertainment Karey Burke revealed Seacrest was still in talks to return, but the network had not yet closed his deal. “We’re in ongoing conversations about Ryan returning and I am hopeful,” she said.
In addition to joining Perry, Richie and Bryan, Seacrest also will be re-teaming with in-house mentor Bobby Bones.
“American Idol has been my home for 17 seasons and I can’t wait to return to the stage,” said Seacrest. “It’s the greatest gift to be able to play a part in discovering new talent with a franchise that has been such a relevant part of American culture for so many years.”
“We are delighted that our entire Idol dream team will be reuniting for the upcoming season on ABC,” said Burke. “Ryan has been hosting Idol since the beginning, and the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the show after 17 seasons are remarkable. We can’t wait to see what’s in store as Ryan, our superstar judges and in-house mentor set out on their nationwide search for the next great music sensation.”
“I’m thrilled that Ryan is returning to American Idol,” said executive producer and showrunner Trish Kinane. “His passion for the show is evident, and we couldn’t imagine searching for the next generation of superstars without him.”
Seacreast also serves as host and executive producer on ABC’s top-rated, nationally syndicated Live with Kelly and Ryan, as well as ABC’s annual live show Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. He’ll also continue hosting and executive producing On Air with Ryan Seacrest, his 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.
“Since the very beginning everyone who has ever stepped onto the American Idol stage has done so with Ryan Seacrest’s support and guidance,” said executive producers Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman on behalf of Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment. “We are lucky to call him our partner and proud to call him our friend. We are thrilled that the next American Idol can rely on Ryan guiding them along their way to stardom.”
The nationwide American Idol audition tour wraps up his weekend with an open call in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, Sept. 21. In addition to auditioning in person, hopefuls can also submit audition videos online or show off their talent via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #TheNextIdol.
American Idol is produced by Fremantle and Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment. Executive producers include Fremantle’s Trish Kinane, also serving as showrunner, Jennifer Mullin & Megan Wolflick, with Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman serving as executive producers for 19 Entertainment. Fremantle distributes the series worldwide.