‘American Idol’: Ryan Seacrest nearing deal to host return on ABC

ABC is said to be in final negotiations with Ryan Seacrest to host the return of “American Idol” next year. It had been thought that Seacrest, who emceed all 15 seasons of the show on Fox, would not be available as he just took a gig hosting “Live” with Kelly Ripa in New York City. “Idol” producer Fremantle  rejected the idea of shifting the show from LA to New York.

However, Seacrest could be on-board if the reboot airs on Sunday and Monday evening. He has made no secret of his desire to be part of any relaunch of the show that launched his career. As he told Ripa on their morning gabfest, he signed off on the series finale in April 2016 by saying, “Good night, America … for now.” Ripa is certainly eager for him to host once again.

It would mean a lot of transcontinental trips for Seacrest. On Thursday, after pre-taping Friday’s “Live,” he would jet west and rehearse “Idol” over the weekend before doing it live on Sunday evening. Then he would wing his way back to New York in the wee hours of Monday, do “Live” that morning before doing the jaunt back to LA for the results show Monday night. Another red-eye would get him back to Gotham in time for Tuesday’s “Live.”

Should Seacrest return, the TV academy may well reward him with that elusive Emmy for Best Reality Host. He lost that race seven times for the original show. First he was bested by Jeff Probst (“Survivor”) for four years running beginning in 2008, then Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars”) in 2012, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn (“Project Runway”) in 2013 and RuPaul Charles (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) in 2016.

‘American Idol’ Winners List (Seasons 1 – 15)

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