American Idol is making its return next year — and so is Ryan Seacrest. The TV personality, who hosted the competition series’ original run from 2002 to 2016, will take up hosting duties once again, ABC announced Thursday.
The show aired its final episode on Fox in April 2016 after 15 seasons. The next year, multiple networks — Fox not included — were reportedly considering bringing American Idol back; by May 2017, ABC officially nabbed the revival days after Seacrest was revealed to be the new co-host on morning talk show Live With Kelly (now Live With Kelly and Ryan).
“It’s genuinely hard to put into words what American Idol means to me,” Seacrest said in a statement. “I’m so grateful for the show and all the career and life opportunities it’s allowed me to experience. It’s been an incredible journey from day one. To be asked to return this year, at my new home at Disney|ABC, is an honor, if not a bit surreal. I believe ABC is the perfect home for Idol, and I’ve every confidence the show’s legions of fans will love it — especially Idol‘s best traditions of showcasing heartwarming stories, remarkable talent discovery, and, best of all, making dreams come true.”
As previously announced, Katy Perry will be joining the show as a judge. “I’m spicy, @RyanSeacrest is seasoned!” she tweeted Thursday. “All the right ingredients are coming together on @AmericanIdol. Have YOU auditioned?”
Potential Idol contestants can audition online now or go to one of the in-person auditions, which kick off Aug. 17 in Orlando, Florida. The new season will debut in 2018.