After weeks of rumors and a fierce bidding war, ABC confirmed on Tuesday morning it was rebooting the popular singing competition series — besting NBC and Fox for the show, which aired for 15 seasons on Fox from 2002 to 2016.
The news came on the network’s morning show Good Morning America. Co-anchor Amy Robach said a host, judges and premiere date for the show would be announced at a later date.
“I had said at the end of the series, ‘Goodbye for now,’ hoping somewhere it would come back,” he explained.
“I had no idea it was being talked about to come here until late last week I heard a rumor in the news and made a phone call, and they said, ‘Yeah, it may actually end up here.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s kind of good to know since I work here,’ ” he continued. “So what I do know is, apparently it’s unofficial but very close to being said it will be here. I don’t know if I can host it…”
Kelly Ripa gave her seal of approval, telling her 42-year-old co-host that she would pick up the slack for their morning show. “You can disconnect for that!” Ripa insisted. “On the days where it is the day after, I will totally …you won’t even have to think, I will do it all!”
Seacrest’s hesitation is more than just cautious reservations. A source told PEOPLE his previous commitments present a lot of challenges.
“His plate is obviously pretty full already,” the source said. “His priority is Live with Kelly and Ryan, he has big commitments to iHeartRadio daily and the 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 insider continued.
“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 added.
Over the course of it’s 15 seasons, American Idol boasted a rotating judging table that included Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.
As for the show’s most popular judge Simon Cowell, he’s unlikely to join the reboot with his role on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
ABC is expected to announce Idol at its Upfront presentation to advertisers later this month.