Ryan Seacrest doesn't seem like one to turn down work. The TV and radio host only seems to be adding projects to his resume, including joining NBC for their Olympic coverage this summer. Those who simply can't imagine American Idol without him won't have to. At least, not next season, anyway. Given the shifts the singing competition series has made at its judges table, this kind of stability is probably a good thing for the show.

Fox shared the word tonight that Ryan Seacrest has signed a new deal with American Idol. Specifics on the contract weren't mentioned in Fox's release, though Variety reports that it's a two-year deal, at a salary of $15 million dollars a year. Not a bad fee for the job he does, though I don't think it's an overstatement to say that he's worth it for what he contributes to the series.
For the last 11 seasons, I've had the privilege to be a part of one of television's most iconic shows. It's been a wild ride, and I'm excited for my journey with AMERICAN IDOL to continue,” Seacrest said. “The legions of fans, amazingly talented contestants, judges, and producers, along with the hard working IDOL crew, impress me every time we go on air and make hosting the show a dream job. I especially appreciate the support and confidence of Peter Rice, Mike Darnell and the entire FOX team – as well as the support of everyone at FremantleMedia North America – and I look forward to continuing our partnership.”

This is good news for Idol, as I can't imagine anyone capable of fulfilling the host's responsibilities on this series as successfully as Ryan Seacrest does. He keeps Idol's live episodes chugging along like a well-oiled machine, a feat that's not likely to be nearly as easy as he makes it look. In addition to announcing the results, introducing the acts, bantering with the judges, and offering some especially well-timed dramatic pauses, he also regularly manages to merge empathy with humor during the audition rounds, engaging with the Idol-hopefuls, lending a shoulder for disappointed auditioners to cry on, and sharing in the celebratory waving of the golden ticket with other auditioners and their families. It's impossible to imagine American Idol without him.

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