ABC 'Hopeful' Ryan Seacrest Will Return to 'American Idol'

Ryan Seacrest
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The longtime host was conspicuously absent from Monday's announcement that Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan were returning.

American Idol will be bringing back Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie for its third season on ABC, but one name synonymous with the franchise was noticeably missing. So, why isn't longtime host Ryan Seacrest confirmed yet?

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke addressed Seacrest's future with the franchise. Seacrest, who also hosts daytime talk show Live With Kelly and Ryan, is currently in the middle of a long-term deal with ABC.

"I do not believe that he will not be [a part of Idol]. We are in ongoing discussions with Ryan about returning, and I'm hopeful that he will," Burke said Monday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

Also joining Perry, Bryan and Richie for the upcoming season is in-house mentor Bobby Bones, who is the reigning Dancing With the Stars champion.

After Idol crowned singer Laine Hardy the latest champion in May, ET spoke with Seacrest about his plans for the following season.

"My plan is to be back next year, of course," he said at the time. "I can't imagine not doing this show."

One month prior to that interview, Seacrest called out sick and missed a day of production for the first time in the 17 seasons that he has served as host, bringing in Bones to fill in for him.

Idol was renewed for another season earlier this year by ABC, despite declining ratings and a hefty price tag, with Perry reportedly earning a salary of upwards of $25 million a season. It is unclear how much cost-cutting is being done to afford the upcoming third season.

American Idol will return in spring 2020 on ABC.