While ABC previously confirmed that judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie will be back for American Idol’s third season on the network, Ryan Seacrest has not been confirmed yet.
ABC’s President of Entertainment Karey Burke addressed the long-time host of American Idol’s future in the franchise. Seacrest, who is hosting the daytime talk show Live With Kelly and Ryan, is currently in a long-term contract with the network.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, on Monday the ABC exec said:
“I do not believe that he will not be [a part of Idol]. We are in ongoing discussions with Ryan about returning, and I’m hopeful that he will.”
While discussions are still ongoing with Seacrest, a new in-house mentor will be coming to the show. Reigning Dancing With the Stars champion Bobby Bones will be joining Perry, Bryan, and Richie in American Idol.
After the last AI champion was crowned back in May, Seacrest expressed his plans to return to the following season.
“My plan is to be back next year, of course,” he said at the time speaking to ET. “I can’t imagine not doing this show.”
American Idol was renewed for a third season earlier this year. ABC decided to continue on with the show despite decreasing viewership and the hefty production price tag. Perry alone reportedly earned a salary of more than USD25 million a season. The network has not released plans of how cost-cutting will be done for the show and how it will affect the forthcoming third season.