Seacrest’s multi-year deal is worth north of $10 million, PEOPLE confirms. He hosted the original Idol for 15 seasons from 2002 to 2016 when it aired on Fox.
“It’s genuinely hard to put into words what American Idol means to me,” Seacrest, 42, said in a statement.
“I’m so grateful for the show and all the career and life opportunities it’s allowed me to experience. It’s been an incredible journey from day one. To be asked to return this year, at my new home at Disney|ABC, is an honor, if not a bit surreal. I believe ABC is the perfect home for Idol, and I’ve every confidence the show’s legions of fans will love it – especially Idol’s best traditions of showcasing heartwarming stories, remarkable talent discovery, and, best of all, making dreams come true.”
New judge Katy Perry was quick to offer her congrats, Tweeting, “I’m spicy, Ryan is seasoned! All the right ingredients are coming together.” Rebooted Idol auditions kick off Aug. 17.
Although there has been a complete switch-up on the judging panel, which includes Perry, 32, fans have been clamoring for the original host to return ever since the network announced the show’s comeback on May 9.
“I had said at the end of the series, ‘Goodbye for now,’ hoping somewhere it would come back,” he explained during an episode of Live with Kelly & Ryan.
“Who am I if not the American Idol guy?” Seacrest asked in a June THR profile. “I’ve always loved the show,” he continued. “And if I could do it forever, I would do it forever.”
FROM PEN: Ryan Seacrest is Already a Fixture in Kelly Ripa’s House
Just before the announcement of the show’s return, Seacrest signed on to host Live with Kelly & Ryan alongside Kelly Ripa on May 1. An insider previously told PEOPLE the talk show was “his priority,” but Seacrest also has big commitments to iHeartRadio 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,” added the insider.
Thursday’s statement confirmed Seacrest — whose net worth is estimated at $58 million — will continue his hosting and executive producing duties across all platforms, including Live with Kelly & Ryan and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, as well as radio shows On Air with Ryan Seacrest and his weekly Top 40 countdown.
- With reporting by ELIZABETH LEONARD