Ryan Seacrest Almost Signed ‘American Idol’ Revival Deal Before ‘Live’

Ryan Seacrest attends 102.7 KIIS FM's 2017 Wango Tango at StubHub Center on May 13, 2017 in Carson, California.
Ryan Seacrest attends 102.7 KIIS FM's 2017 Wango Tango at StubHub Center on May 13, 2017 in Carson, California. Rich Fury/Getty Images

Seacrest out — and on to the next! Ryan Seacrest struggled with debating over returning to American Idol after ABC offered him a deal to sign on to the reboot. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Seacrest revealed that at press time, he was nearing a deal to return before joining forces with Kelly Ripa on Live With Kelly and Ryan.

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“I’ve always loved the show,” Seacrest told THR of Idol. “And if I could do it forever, I would do it forever.”

When it came down to it, Seacrest was debating on whether to return to the show that made him a household name or embracing the next chapter of his multi-hyphenated life while also attempting to navigate a lowball offer from the network. 

Ryan Seacrest on the cover of The Hollywood
Ryan Seacrest on the cover of The Hollywood

“Who am I if not the ‘American Idol’ guy?'” Seacrest asked THR while recalling his initial decision to take ABC’s offer instead to cohost with pal Ripa, 46. “I had so many walls up in my own head about my life in Los Angeles and my role in Los Angeles,” he added of his nerves about relocating to NYC, where he now films the morning talk show along with reprising his other roles as radio host.

THR revealed that ABC was supposed to announce Seacrest’s anticipated return to Idol at Upfronts, but instead announced Katy Perry as judge after they failed to agree upon a deal accepted by Seacrest. Seacrest told THR that he sat down with Perry and encouraged her to take her deal, which was a whopping $25 million. 

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That said, Seacrest hasn’t nixed the idea of returning to Idol altogether after execs have since come back with a number more suitable for the TV personality. ABC exec Ben Sherwood explained to THR: “We want Ryan to be a master of all things live for us in the way that Regis Philbin was for many years here.”

When it comes to Seacrest, the more full his plate the better.

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“I’ve figured out what I’m better at and what I’m not so good at, and I’m doing the things that I’m better at,” he concluded of his business decisions. “The things that I’m not so good at would make me tired and would make me want to slow down.”

When asked by THR if adding Idol to his plate would complete it, Seacrest hinted, “I know, I never though that would be possible.”

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