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Will Ryan Seacrest Return to an American Idol Reboot? 'He Has a Lot of Affection for the Show,' Source Says

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Amid reports American Idol may be returning after ending its run in 2016, many are wondering if Ryan Seacrest would return to the show as host.

“While there are some ongoing discussions for bringing back Idol, there are some very major hurdles they need to get done,” a source tells PEOPLE.

A second source confirms negotiations for the show’s return “are happening, but they’ve been far from anything formal.”

One such hurdle: Seacrest — popular host of the show throughout its 15 seasons on the air — is now splitting his time between New York City and Los Angeles after signing on to co-host Live with Kelly and Ryan alongside Kelly Ripa, a role he began this week.

Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution/Pawel Kaminski

“As for Ryan, his plate is obviously pretty full already — his priority is Live with Kelly and Ryan, he has big commitments to iHeartRadio daily and the syndicated radio show,” the source continues. “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.”

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“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 fit in with his other commitments,” the source adds.

The speculation of the show’s possible reboot — most likely on a network other than Fox, where it aired for 15 seasons —— comes in the midst of a very exciting time in Seacrest’s life — one he’s talked about for years.

Partners in crime

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“We started talking about this, like, a decade ago,” Ripa told reporters on Monday while in discussion with Seacrest. “But you were so ensconced with your other job and living in L.A. But we’ve always enjoyed working together — that’s never been a question. It’s just been being on the same coast at the same time.”

Seacrest, who’s known for wearing many hats as he continually heads multiple projects at a timedoes plan to split his time between coasts (for now), shuttling himself back to Los Angeles at the end of every week.

“I’ll be [in New York City] during the week and then at the end of the week the show usually isn’t on on Fridays, so I’ll fly back to Los Angeles and work from there,” Seacrest, 42, explained. “And I have an iHeart studio here in the building, so immediately after Live on television, we go live on the radio.”

Live with Kelly & Ryan airs weekdays on ABC (check local listings).

  • Reporting by PATRICK GOMEZ and ELIZABETH LEONARD