All eyes on Ryan Seacrest ahead of American Idol return

After his red carpet ratings plummet, will allegations against Ryan Seacrest impact the return of Idol?

American Idol launches on ABC next week with new judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and country singer Luke Bryan. The US network paid handsomely for the right to revive the series, after only a year off air from FOX.

It remains to be seen whether recent headlines surrounding host Ryan Seacrest may affect the show’s performance.

Seacrest, who has denied all allegations made by former stylist Suzie Hardy, returned to the Oscars red carpet but his ratings were down by 43%.

In addition to news of a 30 second delay, there were reports he may be snubbed by the big stars. In the end his interviewees included nominees Allison Janney, Christopher Plummer and Mary J. Blige plus Diane Warren, Gael Garcia Bernal, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Rita Moreno, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Empire’s Taraji P. Henson told him, “The universe has a way of taking care of good people,” before grabbing his chin and saying, “You know what I mean?”

Kelly Ripa, whom he co-hosts a daytime show with, ended her chat by asking, “Are you ok?”

In contrast, their post-Oscars show Live With Kelly and Ryan put up its best numbers since Seacrest joined the show last May.

E! cleared Seacrest after a two-month investigation, but Hardy has hit back at Seacrest’s denials.

American Idol launches on Sunday in the US, screening on FOX8 in Australia on Monday night.

Source: Hollywood Reporter, Variety