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Ryan Seacrest on 'American Idol's rumored return: "I don't know if I can host it"


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/08/2017 

Ryan Seacrest has opened up about the status of American Idol's upcoming revival and whether he'll have any involvement with it.

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During the Monday episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, Seacrest addressed rumors he's interested in continuing to host American Idol once the reality singing competition returns to TV.

Although previous reports claimed NBC and Fox broke out in a bidding war over American Idol, the latest news is that ABC has reached a deal to reportedly bring the show back in March 2018 on Sunday nights. And it just so happens that Seacrest now has a contract with ABC since he joined Live with Kelly and Ryan.

"So this has been in the press, and let me say, I like it. I like it a lot, and I hope that it's true," Ripa said to her co-host before reading from a piece of paper.

"'ABC gets close to deal for American Idol return.' Okay?! I think this has to happen. I went into seclusion when American Idol was canceled. Are you going to host it? Please tell me yes."

"Whatever you want!" joked Seacrest, reminding Ripa that he always says "yes" and bows down to his work wife.

On a more serious note, Seacrest then revealed, "No, I don't know about that part yet. We haven't gotten that far. So this was news to me actually last week. I had said at the end of the series, 'Goodbye for now,' hoping somewhere it would come back, and it was rumored to be going back to other networks."

He added, "I had no idea there were talks of it coming back to [ABC] until late last week. I saw something -- a rumor in the news, and so I made a phone call and they said, 'Yeah, it may actually end up here [on ABC].' And I said, 'Well, that's kind of good to know since I work here.'"

Fox was home to American Idol for all of its 15 seasons beginning in 2002, with the last season concluding in Spring 2016.

According to TMZ, ABC sealed the deal with Idol's production companies FreMantleMedia and Core Media Group on Friday, My 5, and the idea was to have Seacrest return as host if he could.

Well, Ripa, 46, made no qualms about wanting Seacrest to become the face of American Idol again.

"I've got to tell you, typically I really only save prayers for world peace and people who are very sick and stuff like that, but I am gonna start a prayer circle, because I love [Idol]. [Ryan], you know I was, like, your original fan," Ripa gushed.

"I know! You came and auditioned with the original judges and I'll never forget that," Seacrest noted with a laugh.

After Ripa joked about having the voice of an angel, Seacrest explained, "So what I do know is apparently, it's unofficial, but very close to being said it will be here [on ABC]."

As Ripa was bouncing up and down in her chair with excitement, Seacrest appeared uneasy about the idea of juggling two different TV shows, not to mention he owns a production company and runs his own radio show as well.

"I don't know if I can host it," Seacrest admitted of American Idol, which is filmed in Hollywood, CA, when Live with Kelly &and Ryan films in New York City.

"Yes you can! You can!" Ripa yelled.

"Well, it will be back soon!" Seacrest noted of the reality singing competition.

"I know that you're busy in the mornings, I get it. I understand it's hard doing double duty -- you've got the radio show, you've got this. But your nights are free, you don't have that much to do. You can do this!" Ripa urged Seacrest.

"Do you know the preparation I have to do for [Live] every night?" Seacrest argued.

"But you can disconnect from that! I promise. On the days where it's like the day after [Idol], I will totally -- you won't even have to think, I will do it all for you!" Ripa suggested.

A source previously told Us Weekly that Seacrest's No. 1 priority is Live with Kelly and Ryan, in addition to his work with iHeartRadio and his syndicated radio show.

"That said, Ryan has a lot of affection for Idol given the significance to his career, and it taps into the things he loves -- a live show, pop music, discovering new talent, etc.," the source explained.

"There have been no formal discussions with Ryan about his involvement but he may well be open to it... in the right capacity and if it fits in with his other commitments."

American Idol's fifteenth season ended last year with Trent Harmon being crowned the last winner over La'Porsha Renae.

At the peak of Idol's success in 2006, the series drew an enormous 36.4 total viewers. Ratings, however, steadily declined as the show neared its end. Its final season reportedly averaged only 9.1 million viewers.

Although Season 15 was referred to as American Idol's "farewell season," Seacrest hinted at a possible revival when speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour last year.

"When you've got a franchise that has this kind of heritage and you've got a franchise that generates X amount of millions of people, if it sustains, does that mean it's the end?" Seacrest said. "I'm not so sure."



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