LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest will remain on the top-rated U.S. TV singing contest, the Fox television network said on Monday, ending speculation the popular personality might jump to a new show.
Seacrest has hosted “Idol” for 11 seasons and seen contestants such as Kelly Clarkson go on to singing stardom, Jennifer Hudson win an Oscar and Adam Lambert court controversy with his glam style.
“It’s been a wild ride, and I’m excited for my journey with ‘American Idol’ to continue,” Seacrest said in a statement.
Media industry publications, citing unnamed sources, reported that Seacrest signed a two-year contract extension at $15 million per year, but that could not be confirmed. A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment on details of the deal.
In recent weeks, Hollywood has been rife with speculation that Seacrest, who maintains a presence on radio and produces shows for the E! cable TV network, might follow in the footsteps of former judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul and depart “Idol.”
In the Fox statement, show creator Simon Fuller noted that Seacrest had been with the program “from the very first day.” and said “I can’t imagine the show without him.”
Reporting By Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Zorianna Kit and Elaine Lies