UPDATE (7/20): ABC confirms that Ryan Seacrest will officially host the American Idol revival. Live with Kelly and Ryan (naturally) announced the news today. He commented on the decision in a statement via Deadline:
“It’s genuinely hard to put into words what American Idol means to me. 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.”
“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,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said. “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.”
Katy Perry, one of American Idol's new judges, also weighed in. "I’m spicy, @RyanSeacrest is seasonedAll the right ingredients are coming together on @AmericanIdol. Have YOU auditioned? #TheNextIdol," she tweeted. Auditions to find the next Idol begins on Aug. 17.
Original Story (6/14): "Who am I if not the American Idol guy?" Ryan Seacrest asks The Hollywood Reporter in a big new profile that might not exist if Seacrest wasn't successful with and known for a great many other television endeavors. Although yes, AI ran 15 seasons on Fox, and Seacrest hosted them all, and Seacrest is almost definitely back for the reboot.
ABC's new American Idol was announced a little more than a month ago; rumors of Seacrest's return as host commenced instantaneously. THR confirms in their widely sourced story that he did have an offer "almost immediately," although with a significant pay cut. (He will allegedly still earn more than $10 million.) "I've always loved the show," he tells the mag. "And if I could do it forever, I would do it forever." THR writes that Seacrest's closest people think "the idea of being replaced would destroy him."
"Idol was still firing on cylinders, even if it wasn't all of the cylinders of its heyday, and it still had a fan base," Seacrest said about Fox's decision to cancel AI a little less than 14 years after it premiered. "So, part of me, while not having had any real conversations about it, believed that somehow, somewhere, American Idol would come back."
He also reportedly "huddled with Katy Perry" and convinced her to take the first open hosting chair; she'll make $25 million. “I am honored and thrilled," she said, "to be the first judge bringing back the American Idol tradition of making dreams come true for incredible talents with authentic personalities and real stories." Now watch them sign Taylor Swift too.