But he'll reportedly be flying solo for the next installment of the musical reality show

By Gary Susman
Updated September 20, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Fans of ”American Idol” cohost Ryan Seacrest can breathe a sigh of relief. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the ”Idol” chatterer has signed on for the next season of the talent contest, airing early next year, for a cool $1 million. Fox wouldn’t confirm his new salary, but that fee would triple his pay for the show’s inaugural season this summer.

It’s still not clear if Fox will also bring back Seacrest’s cohost, Brian ”The Dunk” Dunkleman. According to the Reporter, Seacrest may go it alone next time, or he may be partnered with a female cohost, at least for the early rounds of the competition.

In fact, despite the breakout success of the series, only Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell have signed on the dotted line for a second season. (Cowell’s reported Season 2 take: $2 million.) Fellow judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are also expected to return, but their deals haven’t been finalized.

Which means that this Monday’s Las Vegas-set ”Idol” reunion special could be the last time you’ll ever see The Dunk. And probably seven or eight of the 10 finalists as well.

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