“No, I don’t know about that part yet,” Seacrest told his “Live With Kelly and Ryan” colleague Kelly Ripa on Monday’s show when she asked if he would return as “Idol” host. “We haven’t gotten that far. 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.”
Pressed by Ripa, Seacrest demurred, citing his heavy workload. “I don’t know if I can host it. Do you know the preparation I have to do for this show [‘Live’] every night?” Ripa responded by imploring him, “Yes you can!” and assuring him that she would lighten his “Live” prep responsibilities for episodes following “Idol” shoots.
Seacrest hosted “Idol” for its entire 15-season run on Fox. With a revival in the works at ABC, interest in having him return to the franchise is high. But such a move is complicated by Seacrest’s new gig on ABC’s “Live,” which is shot daily in New York. Seacrest was unveiled last week as the show’s new co-host, and is relocating to New York for the job. “Idol” traditionally shot in Los Angeles. A move to New York would likely drive up production costs on an already expensive show.
Sources tell Variety that Seacrest has had no formal discussions with ABC or producers about returning to “Idol,” but may be open to the possibility if he feels that the role is right and it can be fit into his other commitments.
ABC has a deal in place with producers FremantleMedia and Core Media Group to bring “Idol” back next season. The Alphabet is eyeing a March premiere for the revived show, and would potentially air it on Sunday nights. ABC entered exclusive negotiations with producers Friday evening, fending off a last-second bid by Fox, which canceled the show amid declining ratings last year.
Watch the video of Seacrest and Ripa discussing “Idol” below: