Ryan Seacrest Is Returning as 'American Idol' Host for Season 18

Meredith Jacobs
ABC/Craig Sjodin

Some things will never change, and that seems to include Ryan Seacrest's job at American Idol.

ABC announced Friday that the Emmy Award-winning host and producer will return to host the 18th season overall (third on ABC), which he's been doing since the music competition series premiered in 2002. He joins music industry legends and all-star judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie and in-house mentor Bobby Bones.

"American Idol has been my home for 17 seasons and I can't wait to return to the stage," Seacrest said in a statement. "It's the greatest gift to be able to play a part in discovering new talent with a franchise that has been such a relevant part of American culture for so many years."

"We are delighted that our entire Idol dream team will be reuniting for the upcoming season on ABC," the network's Entertainment president Karey Burke said. "The energy and enthusiasm [Ryan] brings to the show after 17 seasons are remarkable."

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Executive producer and showrunner Trish Kinane is also "thrilled" about Ryan's return, adding, "His passion for the show is evident, and we couldn't imagine searching for the next generation of superstars without him."

"Since the very beginning everyone who has ever stepped onto the American Idol stage has done so with Ryan Seacrest's support and guidance," executive producers Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman, on behalf of Industrial Media's 19 Entertainment, said. "We are lucky to call him our partner and proud to call him our friend. We are thrilled that the next American Idol can rely on Ryan guiding them along their way to stardom."

(ABC/Craig Sjodin)

The nationwide audition tour is already underway and concludes Saturday, September 21, in Chicago, Illinois. Hopefuls (who are at least 15 years old) can also submit audition videos online and show off via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtag #TheNextIdol.

Seacrest also co-hosts and executive produces Live with Kelly and Ryan and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest on ABC.

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American Idol, 2020, ABC