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Ryan Seacrest On 'American Idol': Signs On For Two More Years As Host

Posted: 04/23/2012 9:56 pm Updated: 04/24/2012 10:30 am

Ryan Seacrest American Idol Deal
Ryan Seacrest signs on for two more years with "American Idol."

The judges panel may have seen a lot of big names come and go, but one person "American Idol" (Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox) viewers can count on being there is Ryan Seacrest.

The host, who has been with "American Idol" since its debut in 2002, has signed on two more seasons of the hit Fox reality competition, which will pay him $15 million annually, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“For the last 11 seasons, I've had the privilege to be a part of one of television's most iconic shows. It's been a wild ride, and I'm excited for my journey with 'American Idol' to continue,” Seacrest said in a statement. “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.”

Judge Randy Jackson and Seacrest -- who is also a radio and E! personality and reality TV producer -- remain the only original faces with the show.

In recent seasons, "Idol" has seen mainstays Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul leave -- and head to "The X Factor" -- and had brief stints with songwriter Kara DioGuardi and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on the panel. But Seacrest has been there from the start.

“Ryan is one of a kind,” added Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox, said in a statement. “His ability to engage the viewers, keep the contestants at ease during intense moments and adapt to any situation, especially during the live shows, solidifies him as the absolute best in the business. He is an integral part of why 'American Idol' is a true phenomenon, and we can't imagine doing this show without him.”

Amidst the shifts on the judges panel and new competition in the reality TV landscape (like "The Voice"), "Idol" has seen its ratings sink a bit during its current 11th season. In February, in terms of total viewers in the key 18-49 demographic, 7.7 million viewers tuned into "Idol," while "The Voice" had 8.5 million viewers.

There had been reports in 2011 that Seacrest was being courted as a potential replacement for Matt Lauer on "Today." But Lauer is remaining with the show after signing a new deal in early April.

Do you think Seacrest is making the right move?

"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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Filed by Jaimie Etkin  |