American Idol is headed back to television on a new network, and it looks like its iconic host could tag along with it. Ryan Seacrest has reportedly been in negotiations to return as the host of the former FOX singing show when it premieres on ABC, and one condition is looking like it will either make or break this deal. If he returns, Seacrest wants a credit of executive producer, or he's "Seacrest out."
That's what's being reported right now by TMZ, who says that the condition is holding up the deal from being solidified. Ryan Seacrest's reasoning for wanting the executive producer tag is unclear, but holding the role potentially could grant Seacrest more creative control over American Idol. It could also just be a tag that puts Seacrest in with a group of people who stand to see a percentage of profits. Seacrest is allegedly looking at a $10-$15 million for signing onto the show, so a producer tag could (provided profits are in his deal) eventually put his profits closer to that $25 million contract the show just signed Katy Perry on for.
Negotiations have been at a standstill for about a week, which begs the question if American Idol will still draw in its old fans with none of its original faces returning? As of writing, Ryan Seacrest is the only person from the original series in negotiations to make that transition, and unless Brian Dunkleman is secretly waiting in the wings should the deal fall through, this could be a fresh reboot altogether. Contract negotiations for other judges have reportedly halted until the deal with Seacrest is done, so there's definitely a sense that it's important for the show producers to lock him down.
While some fans may hold ill will towards Ryan Seacrest holding back the show from returning as soon as possible, he is making a pretty big commitment. Seacrest will have to fly out to L.A. weekly to do the show as he's playing co-host to Kelly Ripa daily in New York City. Seacrest also hosted American Idol for a staggering 15 seasons, so it's understandable he may want some additional recognition as one of the driving forces behind the show's success. He's certainly more passionate than past judge Simon Cowell, who has made it clear he wants no part of the series.
American Idol has been said to be coming back to ABC sometime in early 2018, but nothing has been solidified as of yet. Visiting our summer premiere guide, which contains a list of all shows returning or premiering, will help knock out a chunk of that long wait, as well as catching up on all the big shows of this year that will be returning. A list of those old shows worth getting back to can be found on our renewal guide.