Ryan Seacrest announces his return as host of 'American Idol'

Ryan Seacrest announces his return as host of 'American Idol'

(WTVM) - Ryan Seacrest announced Thursday morning on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" that he will return to host the beloved music competition series "American Idol" for its first season on ABC.

Seacrest had a long run with "Idol," having served as host for the franchise since its inception in 2002.

Now, with "American Idol" at its new home, Seacrest will help reinvigorate the series that pioneered a new genre of television, staying true to the heart of the show by sharing inspiring stories and turning dreams into reality.

"It's genuinely hard to put into words what 'American Idol' means to me," said Seacrest. "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."

The nationwide search for the next superstar kicks off on Thursday, August 17, as the Idol Bus Tour jumps into gear across America, offering hopefuls the chance to audition for a shot at superstardom.

"American Idol" will also host auditions in Atlanta on Tuesday, Aug. 22 from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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