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Brian Dunkleman "decides not to return" for 'American Idol 2,' opts to "pursue other opportunities"


By Reality TV World staff, 10/10/2002 

Variety reports that "American Idol" co-host and sometimes Coca-Cola pitchman Brian Dunkleman won't be part of the hit Fox reality show's second season.

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According to the trade paper, Dunkleman's representatives had been talking to Fox and show producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia about a new deal, but his spokeswoman issued a statement on Thursday declaring the standup comic/actor was done talking.

"I have decided not to return for season two in order to pursue other opportunities in the world of TV and feature films," Dunkleman said, adding that he was "so grateful" for the opportunity "Idol" had given him.

Industry sources indicated Fox executives were lukewarm at best about Dunkleman's return, though not necessarily opposed to the idea.

Dunkleman, meanwhile, may have been worried about being stuck in a role on "Idol" that often required him to perform some very cheesy stunts -- like pretending to eavesdrop on judges' conversations using Coke cups as listening devices. (Dunkleman isn't an official Coke spokesman.)

As reported earlier, co-host Ryan Seacrest recently signed a large six-figure deal to return for "American Idol 2"


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