Ryan Seacrest has still not announced whether he will be part of the 2018 return of American Idol, but the buzz surrounding his involvement continued this week as Randy Jackson said he was also approached to host the show.
Jackson, a judge every season, said he would do it alongside pal Seacrest, who hosted American Idol for its entire run on Fox.
In the first season, Seacrest co-hosted with Brian Dunkleman, who resigned before the second season began.
An original judge, Jackson joked about a possible power team-up with Ryan Seacrest, who is now co-hosting the TV show Live with Kelly and Ryan with Kelly Ripa.
“You know, let’s see —’ Kelly and Ryan,’ ‘Ryan and Randy.’ Oh man. It’s gonna work man. I feel it!”
Jackson says he wishes the show well in its new life on ABC, and judge Katy Perry is a good fit. But, he’ll likely not be part of the production without Ryan Seacrest.
Seacrest hasn’t commented at length about whether he will host the talent search, but he added that he is not sure if his schedule will allow it. When producers tried to land him, ABC was already in contract talks with him for Live with Kelly and Ryan. The network brass mulled moving American Idol to New York to accommodate Seacrest, but they decided to keep the show in Los Angeles.
It was also reported that Seacrest was offered to $10 million to host the reboot, which is certainly a decent paycheck, but he had a problem with Katy Perry’s offer to judge for $25 million.
Then there was a reported bidding war between at least three networks, including ABC and NBC. ABC won, making a Ryan Seacrest return a bigger possibility since he will already be working for the network when American Idol airs next spring.
And Seacrest appears to be central to getting the new version of American Idol off the ground. Even with Perry’s involvement, producers have pursued a long list of musical notables for the panel, including Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, and Carrie Underwood. Regardless, the show’s creator said only one person would make the project work.
“There would be no ‘American Idol’ without Ryan Seacrest,” Simon Fuller said in a Variety report.
Seacrest had minor hosting gigs under his belt when he was approached to co-host American Idol. He had hosted Radical Outdoor Challenge, Wild Animal Games, and Gladiators 2000 in the 1990s. He also did commentary and offered trivia during commercial breaks for NBC Saturday Night Movie.
Seacrest’s work hosting the reality practical joke show, Ultimate Revenge, caught Fuller’s eye, prompting negotiations for the first season of American Idol. When Dunkleman resigned, reportedly just before he was to be fired, Seacrest became the sole host in Season 2. Ratings soared with Seacrest, and more than 25 million viewers tuned in to American Idol each week. Seacrest’s popularity sparked several spin-off projects and landed him a $45 million contract in 2009 to continue hosting the main show.
He signed a two-year extension worth $30 million in 2012, and another to remain through the final American Idol run.Born in Atlanta, Ryan Seacrest began his broadcasting career at 16 when he landed an internship with a local radio station. Learning the ropes from Tom Sullivan, Seacrest was eventually given his own weekend slot.
- Seacrest graduated from high school and enrolled in the journalism program at the University of Georgia in 1992. He left school after a year, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue broadcasting opportunities. He became the host of Radical Outdoor Challenge in 1993.
The University of Georgia awarded Seacrest an honorary degree in 2016.
[Featured image by Rich Flurry/Getty Images]