Ryan American Idol

Emmy-winning host and producer Ryan Seacrest has inked a deal to return as host of “American Idol,” a role he’s held since the inception of the franchise in 2002. He reunites with previously announced judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as well as in-house mentor, fellow syndicated radio host Bobby Bones.

The ubiquitous Seacrest also serves as co-host and Executive Producer of ABC’s nationally syndicated “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” as well as ABC’s annual live show “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” And he maintains his original claim to fame, hosting and executive producing “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” his nationally syndicated LA-based morning drive-time radio show for iHeartMedia CHR KIIS-FM, as well as nationally syndicated Top 40 countdown from the iHeart studio at New York’s ABC7, home of “Live.”

“‘American Idol’ has been my home for 17 seasons and I can’t wait to return to the stage,” said Seacrest. “It’s the greatest gift to be able to play a part in discovering new talent with a franchise that has been such a relevant part of American culture for so many years.”

The nationwide “American Idol” audition tour concludes this weekend with an open call in Chicago, Saturday, Sept. 21.