Will Ryan Seacrest leave American Idol after this season?

Ryan Seacrest’s $15 million a year contract with American Idol is up after this season, and there seems to be some possibility that he could leave–and Seacrest didn’t even categorically dismiss the idea of moving to NBC to host The Voice.

First, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that “multiple sources [have] suggested that Fox will attempt to get Seacrest to take a pay cut. But Seacrest is unlikely to capitulate, especially given the money thrown at Jennifer Lopez, who sources say is making $20 million each season.” The paper adds that “Insiders say that Seacrest’s representatives have become frustrated with the lack of Idol negotiations. ‘Fox has been doing nothing, they’e been sitting there. Until [Thursday] they hadn’t called Ryan.'”

Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly told critics yesterday, “It’s very hard to imagine the show without Ryan. We certainly want to keep him. There’s no creative discussion there whatsoever. It is a deal issue, and I think that’s already been written about, so it’s no breaking news. But it’s a deal component. And it’s a tough negotiation and one that will come to conclusion, I think, pretty quickly.”

When Seacrest himself was asked about the negotiations, he said, “I love this television show, and I’ve been a part of it for so many years. I can’t imagine life without American Idol. I have a deal with NBC Universal that we are in negotiations, discussing in terms of what I’ll do at NBC, but I already worked there.”

Asked if he’d consider hosting The Voice, since he has a deal with NBC Universal, under which E! now falls, Seacrest said, “Good question. At this point, honestly, I only see myself as hosting American Idol. I’m focused on that for this season.”

Fox’s reality executive Mike Darnell said, “We love Ryan. I can’t imagine the show without him. He’s an enormous part of this television show. My expectation our expectation is that he’s going to be with the show for as long as we can get him to be on this television show, and I hope that’s forever.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.