The news that die-hard American Idol fans have been waiting for is officially official — Ryan Seacrest is returning as the host for the reboot of the show. Seacrest was so nonchalant about the news that he let his co-host Kelly Ripa announce it on Thursday morning on Live with Kelly and Ryan.
“We’ve been talking about it for a little while, but I am happy to confirm that Ryan Seacrest is returning as host of American Idol,” shared Ripa.
The audience went wild as the AI logo went up on the video screen behind the two hosts. Seacrest likened the cancellation of the show on Fox in 2016 to a 15-year relationship that broke up for unknown reasons.
“The show is going, we thought well, and then all of a sudden we broke up,” he said. “I thought it would be great to get back together at some point.”
It’s almost like he predicted this day on the final show on April 7, 2016, when he signed off of the last episode of AI on Fox with, “And one more time — this is so tough — we say to you from Hollywood… goodnight, America… for now.”
I didn’t want to say goodbye last night. Thank you for 15 amazing seasons #IdolFinale
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) April 8, 2016
Ripa thinks Seacrest is the only host who should ever helm the show.
“You are the only person who can host this show,” Ripa proclaimed. “You are the only person who can identify with that scenario.”
Contract negotiations weren’t easy after FremantleMedia, the production company behind AI, lowballed him with a $10 million offer. ABC stepped in and upped the ante and smoothed over some ruffled feathers after Seacrest withdrew his name from consideration.
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) July 20, 2017
The commute is going to be brutal too. Seacrest will have to host the show in Los Angeles on Sunday night and then fly overnight to New York to be back in time for his morning show gig and his radio show. If anyone can do it though, it’s Seacrest. He was born to work.
The other big mystery is if audiences are clamoring for a reboot only 13 months after the show exited from television. It’s a big risk and a big investment for ABC, but they seem to think the gamble will pay off.