Seacrest has signed a two-year contract extension to remain with FOX’s top-rated series, which he’s hosted from its beginnings in 2002. He’ll earn a reported $15 million a year from the show, the same as his current deal.
“For the last 11 seasons, I’ve had the privilege to be a part of one of television’s most iconic shows,” Seacrest says in a statement. “It’s been a wild ride, and I’m excited for my journey with ‘American Idol’ to continue. 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.”
FOX and the show’s producers feel the same way: Both Mike Darnell, the network’s head of alternative programming, and “Idol” creator Simon Fuller use the phrase “can’t imagine the show without him” in their press quotes.
“American Idol” has suffered ratings declines this season — it’s down about 20 percent in adults 18-49 — but both weekly editions of the show are in the Top 5 in the demographic and in total viewers.