Ryan Seacrest is about to embark on a huge live endeavor. For two weeks, the former American Idol host will helm the nightly Olympic Late Night show for NBC, live from the Copacabana Beach, as part of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan addressed some of the negative headlines surrounding the games, (Ryan the spinmeister!) and also chatted a bit about the end of American Idol.
Ryan says that his Idol finale signoff “Good night America…for now” was an adlibbed moment. The host insists he has no particular inside information that would indicate a plan in the works to bring the show back:
Your Idol finale signoff — “Good night America… for now” – got a lot of attention. What did you mean exactly?
There’s nothing that has officially happened or was happening officially that inspired me to say that. I just personally felt like saying it — and I felt like with a brand like American Idol, I have a hard time believing it’s gone forever. I don’t know in what capacity and on what platform it could be reimagined, but it seems to me that at some point a re-imagination of the franchise would be a likely pursuit.
Creator Simon Fuller seems to agree. He told Billboard that “there will no doubt be another format or refinement or elevation of the format” after he and the show has a chance to catch their breath. That said, did you have any sense for the frenzy or hoopla those two words you uttered would generate?
I didn’t think through the hoopla of it, I just thought of saying it right at the last second so that no one could come out and say anything to me afterward.
Or come out before and tell you not to say it?
Or before and not to, right. [laughs]
If Idol were to come back in another iteration, would you want to be a part of it?
Absolutely. I’m grateful for what that show has done for me personally and professionally, so without a doubt I’d love to be part of whatever exists. As a host, as a producer, as both – whatever role seems to be the one that they’re enthusiastic about and fits the bill.
In your eyes, did it end at the right time?
I do think it did. Look, to have 15 years of a show is an incredible run. Simon Fuller makes a good point: give it a break, let the world and our industry evolve — technology is changing things by the day – and then let’s see where we are in a year and how it fits into popular culture.
As a momento, Ryan brought home the American Idol desk. He keeps it in his garage at the moment. He might make a bar out of it for his game room…