Ryan Seacrest just inked a new deal to remain with “American Idol” for the next two years for a reported $15 million a year, keeping his salary on par with his previous earnings, according to Variety.
Not bad for a show that some say is showing its age in the eleventh season, with ratings dipping among viewers in the coveted 18-49 year-old range compared to earlier years. Despite the ratings plunge, “Idol” remains the most-watched show in the U.S. with 20 million viewers tuning in every Wednesday, not to mention the 19 million on Thursday.
Seacrest, 37, may be seen as the reason “Idol” remains afloat, so it was likely that Fox considered it essential to keep him on board before his contract expired at the end of the current season. Especially since Seacrest has other irons in the fire, including covering the Olympics for NBC in July.
The news isn’t a huge surprise. Fox programming chief Kevin Reilly said back in January, "I think everyone has come to realize the value of Ryan Seacrest. We certainly want to keep him."
While some say he may eventually move on, Seacrest remains optimistic about his role with Fox. After all, he’s been hosting the show since 2002!
Seacrest said in a statement, "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.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.”